Howes in hot water
By MARY MANN firstname.lastname@example.org MAVERICK Ballina councillor Margaret Howes has been formally censured for 'speaking her mind'.
She has been found guilty of breaking the council's Code of Conduct for the third time.
But even the possibility of being suspended does not seem to bother Cr Howes, who claims the whole affair is ridiculous.
"If I can't speak my mind, there's something wrong with freedom of speech," she said.
General manager Paul Hickey said a councillor could only be formally censured if they had misbehaved on one or more occasions, which Cr Howes had.
If she was censured twice or more, she risked being suspended, he said.
"It doesn't bother me if I get the boot," she said. The most recent complaints, one from Councillor Keith Johnson and one from a member of the public, concerned a letter Cr Howes wrote which was published in The Northern Star's Opinions pages.
Another related to language she used in a letter she had written to the conduct committee describing the complainant of a previous breach.