RAY JEFFERY: His family says he would never have wanted the by-election cost put on ratepayers
RAY JEFFERY: His family says he would never have wanted the by-election cost put on ratepayers

By-election now an issue

COUNCILLOR Ray Jeffery has left big shoes to fill, and voters in the Mid-Richmond are unlikely to get the same level of representation from future candidates, say his grieving family.

Applications for by-election candidates close next Wednesday at noon, with a handful so far throwing their hats into the ring.

But comment from former mayor Cr Charlie Cox on the high cost of the by-election, up to $70,000, have offended Cr Jeffery’s family who say their father and husband would never have wanted the cost put on ratepayers.

“Cr Cox’s comments were out of line,” said Cr Jeffery’s daughter, Peta Jeffery-Hore, who lives on the Gold Coast.

“There were tragic circumstances which caused this by-election, and Cr Cox failed to point out that my father actively avoided the cost of a by-election in his past.”

Cr Jeffery was a councillor with Wingebarribee Shire Council for 12 years before moving to Evans Head in 1990, and rather than cause a by-election he travelled back to Sydney by train, twice a month for two years until the next election.

Cr Cox, meanwhile, said his comments on the cost of a by-election were never meant to cast aspersions on his former colleague.

“There’s nothing personal in this,” he said yesterday. “This is simply about the cost of a by-election.

All I’m trying to do is save ratepayers some money.”

Cr Cox was first elected to the Casino Municipal Council as mayor in a by-election after the previous mayor, popular Dr Senthil Vasan, perished in a plane crash over the Border Ranges a decade ago.

Cr Cox said one way to reduce the cost of a by-election would be to hold a postal vote. 


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