Tex taken to task over councillor ratings

COUNCILLOR Ren Lanzon has taken Tex Newberry's 2/10 rating in Thursday's Observer with a grain of salt.

Mr Newberry, who has been attending council meetings for 25 years, said he'd be happy to see less faces sitting around the table, and offered ratings for a number of councillors.

He gave councillor Karen Porter 1 out of 10, Leo Neill-Ballantine and Cr Lanzon 2/10, and Mayor Gail Sellers 8/10.

Cr Lanzon has been following the debate in The Observer about the suggestion to reduce councillor numbers, and said he had seen Mr Newberry's opinion on that on Thursday.

But Cr Lanzon wasn't fazed.

"Tex is saying councillors have vested interests," he said.

"I would like to know what the vested interests are. He is making a very broad statement."

Mr Lanzon said he laughed when he heard his personal rating.

"I don't care what Tex says, let's be honest," he said. "I have known him for a long time.

"He has loyalties and I think he judges based on that."

Cr Lanzon, who was strongly against the idea of cutting councillors when he spoke to The Observer last week, said a Labor attitude coloured Mr Newberry's thinking.

Cr Porter said Mr Newberry - who she talks to every second week - was entitled to an opinion, like all residents.

"I don't have an issue with people having an opinion and I encourage people to form one," she said.

"He is in a different stage of life with different circumstances and I come from a business and economic perspective.

"It just means we are coming from different angles.

"I am representing people with a vision to move forward in the community."

Mrs Porter said she didn't know what Mr Newberry's criteria was for giving her such a low rating.

"Was his comment related to one particular project I don't support?" she said.

"What was his criteria? He may have scored me low on one particular project and he is able to have that opinion."

Cr Neill-Ballantine did not contact The Observer in time for deadline and Mayor Gail Sellers did not wish to comment.