Upper Lachlan Shire mayor, Pam Kensit, says she won't be standing for another council term, given community 'abuse' over a rate rise proposal.
Cr Kensit said many councillors emerged "battered" from the heated public consultation sessions to discuss the Shire's proposal to increase rates by 63 per cent, under one option.
The council issued a release on Sunday stating that it had "clearly heard" what people had to say and would discontinue the process.
Cr Kensit said she'd received numerous phone calls from people "horrified" at the way councillors were treated.
"We are basically volunteers. We don't get paid for this," she said.
Cr Kensit said she'd been personally abused with derogatory names and had received five death threats in the past nine months. She told The Post that all of these had been referred to police but no charges had resulted.
She condemned community interruption of the her acknowledgement of country at the meetings. The acknowledgement was part of council protocol.
"When people jeered and booed during the (acknowledgement), I thought I don't want to represent these people. I don't have anything in common with them," Cr Kensit said.
"I don't know what has changed the community we were once in but it's not the same place I came to live."
Meantime, she has stood by the process to drop the special rate variation proposal.
The council announced on Sunday that it would discontinue the proposal, given public opposition.
Cr Kensit said no meeting was required for this decision and the council consulted with the Office of Local Government before it made the call.
"We got absolute guideline instructions (from OLG)," she said.
"We followed the rules to the tee. The meeting in Collector sealed it. People were very polite but were resolute they didn't want rates raised. It's a democracy and we listened."
"In principle we took it forward. It was not a resolution to activate it and go forward but to investigate. There's quite a difference...Because it was in principle, there was no requirement for a council meeting," Cr Kensit said.
"We contacted OLG on Friday and got absolute guideline instructions."
The mayor said the councillors, many of whom attended the Collector meeting, had a "deep discussion" on Friday about the proposal. It was not a formal meeting. She told The Post that seven out of nine councillors agreed during two separate discussions that the process should be discontinued. Two suggested a more modest rise.
"(But) you can't have a small increase and cut services. You can't be half pregnant," she said.
"The choice was to do the increase and survive as a council or not do the increase and the choice is made. Democracy spoke and I've always believed in (that)."
In October, councillors also agreed to allocate $115,000 to consultants, AEC Group, to undertake a financial review and other "associated analysis to support a special rate variation."
Cr Kensit said this money would not be wasted because AEC was also engaged to identify efficiencies and these would now be considered.
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