Rankin motion 'political'

DEPUTY Mayor Paul Rankin's conduct at a public meeting earlier this month was examined again last night when a motion of no confidence was due to be brought against him.

Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh put the motion forward after a verbal altercation between Cr Rankin and Stop the Hub co-convener Harry Gooden during a public meeting in Oak Flats on February 2.

Mr Gooden alleged Cr Rankin called him an idiot and declared, "I'm coming after you - you watch me mate".

All three ran on the Liberal ticket at the Shellharbour City Council elections in 2011.

Cr Marsh said she would not support anyone who "threatens" a member of the public.

"He blatantly threatened a senior citizen. I was absolutely disgusted by his behaviour," she said.

While Cr Rankin apologised at the council's first meeting of the year, Cr Marsh said councillors could not turn a blind eye.

"He's brought the office of deputy mayor into disrepute and we need a representative to hold the office in high regard," she said.

"It will come down to the conscience of my colleagues - do you want a deputy mayor who has no respect from the community?"

However, Cr Rankin dismissed the challenge as a political move.

"It's pathetic," he said.

"I apologised to [Mr Gooden] twice on that night, I went to put my hand out to him and he refused my apology, so there's not much more I can do about that.

"Nobody's perfect and I'm far from perfect, so unfortunately it's something that happened and I have to learn by it."

He said the motion had come to a meeting he would chair in Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba's absence and he anticipated a tight vote.

"We'll have to wait and see," he said.

No result was known at the time of publication.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide