STANDING DOWN? John Arkan has listed himself as a former councillor of Coffs Harbour City Council.
STANDING DOWN? John Arkan has listed himself as a former councillor of Coffs Harbour City Council. Trevor Veale

Has John Arkan stood down as a Coffs councillor?

COUNCILLOR John Arkan has listed himself as a former councillor at Coffs Harbour City Council on Facebook.

He listed himself as being a councillor from 2009-2017 but it is unclear when he changed the status.

 

FORMER COUNCILLOR: John Arkan has changed his job status on Facebook to former Coffs Harbour City councillor.
FORMER COUNCILLOR: John Arkan has changed his job status on Facebook to former Coffs Harbour City councillor. Facebook

A Coffs Harbour City Council spokeswoman said the council had no knowledge of Arkan's intentions after he was fined $200 and given a 12-month good behaviour bond for making an illegal u-turn in an unregistered and uninsured bus, displaying unauthorised plates.

Police found Arkan had swapped licence plates with his 1994 Toyota LandCruiser the day after registration to the Toyota Coaster bus expired.

A council spokeswoman said Arkan's offences did not fall into a category which could see him stand down as a councillor according to the NSW Local Government Code of Conduct.

"The Local Government Act 1993 provides guidance as to who is disqualified from holding civic office (i.e. the position of councillor). From the available information in the media, it does not appear that matters dealt with recently in the Local Court proceedings fall in to a category that would see an individual disqualified from holding civic office," the spokeswoman said.

"The Code of Conduct under which all NSW councils are expected to operate provides guidance as to the conduct expected of council officials and in all matters the Code makes reference to 'carrying out your functions'. This would suggest guidance as to how individuals carry out their official business as a council official. If a complaint was received under Council's Code of Conduct there is a process to be applied, which has at its foundation the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness."

The Advocate did contact Cr Arkan both by phone and email, but he refused to make comment.

Since The Advocate covered Mr Arkan's court appearance last week, the newsroom has received dozens of Letters to the Editor calling on Cr Arkan to relinquish his position as a city councillor.

A host of letter writers and online readers have also questioned why the fine handed down by the magistrate was just $200 when the NSW infringement notices handed out by police for driving an unregistered vehicle is $623 and driving while uninsured $623.


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