MARCUS Strudwicke (inset) left last Monday night’s Adelaide Plains Council meeting early, admitting he was “frustrated and a little insulted” after losing the deputy mayor’s position to “inexperienced” Two Wells Ward councillor, Mel Lawrence.
It was yet another leadership change at the council, which is under fire following the recent CWMS failure at Mallala and mayor, Tony Flaherty’s public fallout with the state RSL.
Since August 2014, Adelaide Plains Council has had three CEOs, three mayors, and three deputy mayors.
Mr Strudwicke felt the change in deputy mayor was a poorly-timed decision.
“We’ve been down a hard road in the past 12 months and I believe council had started getting back on track, but there is still a lot of work to do,” he said.
“To be replaced by someone with no experience or understanding of the Local Government Act, I felt frustrated and a little insulted.”
“Stability has been an issue for us for quite some time but at some point the councillors have felt they could make that change, but to me it seems destabilising.”
Mr Strudwicke said the relationship between him, Mr Flaherty and CEO, James Miller, had been constructive.
“We had been working well in terms of the relationship at the top,” he said.
“I was surprised most councillors didn’t regard that as important or believed it carried any weight.
“The deputy mayor’s position itself doesn’t mean much to me, it was more so the relationship we had in place was working well.”
Despite the setback, Mr Strudwicke said he would continue to foster the relationship with Mr Miller and Mr Flaherty.
“These decisions happen, I’ve been to enough council meetings where decisions haven’t gone my way but you can’t let that bother you,” Mr Strudwicke said.
“I didn’t leave because I was angry or upset, I just felt frustrated.”