Leader angered by Bluff comments

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 05:00 03/08/2012

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Bluff Community Board chairwoman Jan Mitchell has made an official complaint about an Invercargill city councillor's Facebook comments.

Mrs Mitchell confirmed yesterday she had sent council chief executive Richard King an email on July 20 expressing her displeasure about comments Cr Lindsay Abbott made on Facebook about the Bluff Community Board.

She had lodged the complaint in a personal capacity, saying Cr Abbott's comments were "inflammatory, deliberate and totally unacceptable from an elected representative".

His comments had come at a time when the Bluff board had been working hard to get through an extremely difficult situation, Mrs Mitchell said.

Cr Abbott says on Facebook that work clients for whom he provides care in Bluff have told him that recent negative publicity had brought their town into disrepute.

"They abhor the grandstanding of some of the elected board members, the profanities, the lack of apology or censure," he says on Facebook.

He also has a crack at the "supposed mediation (yeah right)" of Bluff board members and the fact it was held behind closed doors.

Cr Abbott said yesterday he had felt compelled to speak out about community board member Brent Procter, whose use of profane words has upset many, because no-one else on the city council had up to that point.

Cr Abbott said Mrs Mitchell's complaint about him would have been better directed to him personally rather than made to Mr King.

The day he was muzzled from holding a personal opinion was the day he would resign from politics, he added.

"Elected representatives should be able to take a criticism on the nose." Mr King could not be contacted yesterday.

A series of spats among Bluff Community Board members and Bluff residents have dogged Bluff in recent months, but tensions appear to have eased among the warring parties in the past fortnight.

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- The Southland Times

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