Bickering time for Camden councillors

TENSIONS between Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak and councillor Eva Campbell have come to a head with each accusing the other of politicking, after last week's council meeting.

The independent Cr Campbell has accused the Liberal mayor of running the council along political lines and trying to protect the NSW Liberal government.

She voiced her criticism after a petition from councils calling on the government to revamp library funding was not brought to Camden councillors for consideration.

"I think there are increasingly obvious suggestions that the council is being run on a political agenda rather than a community agenda," she said.

Cr Campbell said she had voted against the 2014/15 council budget at the last meeting out of "passive resistance" against what she saw as a politically motivated budget.

However Cr Symkowiak refuted Cr Campbell's claims and cited previous instances when she had gone against the Liberal government, including over coal seam gas. "She's the one trying to get political mileage out of it," she said. "She never brought it (the library petition) to my attention; there is no conspiracy, there is nothing underhand here.

"I can't be aware of everything that is happening in the state."

Cr Campbell also hit out at Cr Symkowiak for writing letters to newspaper editors criticising her and other councillors for things that happened at meetings, including her decision to vote against putting the budget on public exhibition.

"A council meeting is a public forum where you can say pretty much whatever you choose to say ... and I think that's where the comments should be made," she said.

Cr Symkowiak accused Cr Campbell of "speaking in riddles" in meetings and denied any wrongdoing in writing letters for publication.

"I make no apology for holding her to account," she said.

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