The first Lord Mayoral minute of the new Council 7.10.2012


Tuesday is the new Council’s first meeting.

The Herald yesterday highlighted the new Lord Mayor’s first demand [2.6MB file] : a contractor to act as his ‘special advisor’. Not advertised or put put to tender.

This is from the Lord Mayoral minute (page 53):

‘Lord Mayor states that Josh Hodges [sic] particular skill set, work ethic and experience in State and Federal Government is needed for this City to forge greater contact and engagement.’

‘The purpose of the special advisor, Josh Hodges, is to obtain briefing notes, arrange meetings with State and Federal members, gleaned from his experience in Local, State and Federal Governments and assist the Lord Mayor in establishing closer ties with all levels of Government. Josh Hodges will also co-ordinate the day to day events, speech writing and follow up on Lord Mayoral requests.

Mr McCloy is an ‘independent’. Mr Hodges has worked for Tim Owen, Liberal Member for Newcastle and been a Port Stephens councillor.

If a service costs Council more than $150 000, it has to be put out to tender. Mr Hodges will cost the ratepayer $90 000 a year. Assuming the contract is renewed every year we could multiply by four. Whatever.

Mr Hodges was the subject of a code of conduct complaint and alleged misuse of a council-supplied laptop when he was a councillor.

Presumably not relevant today because he was counselled – but I love backstories: here is a story written by Hayley Odgers and Alison Branley in the Herald on 22/8/08:

‘…a report in the Port Stephens Examiner that said Cr Josh Hodges had been brought before the council’s conduct committee after adult gay pornography was found on his council-supplied laptop.

A confidential report seen by the Examiner showed Cr Hodges had been found in breach of the council’s code of conduct by a committee convened to investigate allegations of misbehaviour within the council.

The committee found Cr Hodges had downloaded “sexually inappropriate explicit material” to his council-supplied laptop.

The council’s information technology department discovered the images in January after Cr Hodges asked staff to remove a virus from the laptop.

Evidence of similar downloads on a PC in the councillors’ room at the council chambers were found but it could not be ascertained who was responsible.

The leaked report said Cr Hodges believed the laptop given to him for his role as a councillor was not a council resource and he could use it as he saw fit.

He argued that from time to time other people had used the laptop and the pornographic material could have been downloaded by them.

The committee found that given the quantity of the pornographic material, it was “not reasonable that it would have been downloaded [by other people] from time to time.”

The investigation found Cr Hodges had “considerable material” concerning his private and business affairs on the councillors’ PC in the chambers, which constituted breaches of the code of conduct.

A report to a confidential July 29 meeting of the council recommended Cr Hodges be censured and counselled in the proper use of council resources.’

Here’s a pic.

If I have the wrong Josh Hodges, my apologies in advance.



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One Response to “The first Lord Mayoral minute of the new Council 7.10.2012”

  1. Tom Harley Says:

    Reblogged this on pindanpost.

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