Council car already allocated

DEPUTY mayor Julie Arthur’s $49,000 Commodore station wagon could not have been given to councillor Anne Nioa because it had already been allocated to Ms Arthur, the council’s CEO says.

“David Dalgleish made a number of statements for his own benefit including one about ‘Perhaps it would have been more economically sensible to give councillor Nioa the station wagon?’” Andrew Brien said.

The CEO was referring to a Chronicle story in which Cr Dalgleish suggested the Commodore, which is $21,000 over the set limit for councillors’ vehicles, could have gone to Ms Nioa after her council vehicle was totalled in June.

“The issue is that the vehicle was allocated to the deputy mayor several weeks prior to the accident, and the previous vehicle driven by the deputy mayor was readied for sale,” Mr Brien said.

But last week Cr Dalgleish told the Chronicle that councillors, apart from Ms Nioa, had not had their vehicles replaced recently.

Yesterday he disputed he had made the comments for his own benefit.

“Sure council makes plenty of decisions that have to be changed all the time, and I think that this was one of the cases where changes could have been made to accommodate the needs of councillors in a more financially efficient way,” he said.

A council spokesman said councillors were supposed to be offered cars of “executive type sedan equivalent to a four cylinder Honda Accord VT1 or Toyota (Camry) Altise or similar standard vehicle”.

Councillors’ vehicles are supposed to cost about $28,000, but intricate fleet deals including estimates of resale, render that figure largely irrelevant – in spite of one councillor’s Toyota Prius costing, retail, about $40,000.

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