Oberon Council: Mayor calls out resident's 'vexatious' correspondence

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz.

OBERON mayor Kathy Sajowitz has labelled a resident's treatment of her as "offensive, unpleasant, vexatious and disrespectful" as she vowed to reject future correspondence from him.

The matter came to a head during an Oberon Council Zoom meeting last week when general manager Gary Wallace read out correspondence from members of the public, including Hardy Draheim.

Mr Draheim addressed several issues including Oberon's Christmas lights and budget, September's dirty reticulated water, council staff turnover and closed sessions of council.

Mr Wallace referred the questions to Cr Sajowitz, as mayor, who replied: "I will comment on Mr Draheim's correspondence.

"I will personally not be responding to any further correspondence from Mr Draheim.

"After years of offensive, unpleasant, vexatious and disrespectful commentary directed at me through various media platforms by Mr Draheim, I have decided that it is time to call out this unacceptable, inappropriate and egregious behaviour.

"By not calling out this behaviour I am enabling it."

Cr Sajowitz also said she would not respond to correspondence from the Oberon Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association as long as Mr Draheim was involved with the group.

"Comments made by Mr Draheim in the name of the association should raise concerns with members," she told council.

Cr Sajowitz said her stance was a personal one and "may not reflect the views of other councillors or council staff".

Mr Wallace commented on the issue of closed sessions of council raised by Mr Draheim, saying it was up to the general manager to determine if a matter should be discussed by council in a closed session.

"Some matters and information are provided confidentially," Mr Wallace said.

"Some matters relate to personal hardship."

Mr Draheim later told the Oberon Review he was seeking a meeting with Cr Sajowitz.

"At council meetings the mayor speaks either as the chair, as a councillor, or as the spokesperson for council," he said.

"It is unprecedented that a mayor, speaking for herself personally in council, refuses to carry out her duties of representing council to all residents, including critics.

"I am asking for a meeting with the mayor to seek clarification."