GAWLER Councillor Jim Vallelonga has landed himself in hot water for the second time in recent months, after waiting until midway through a council debate before declaring a possible conflict of interest.
At last Tuesday night’s meeting, Cr Vallelonga sat through nearly 30 minutes of discussion about a shared lease agreement with the Gawler Veteran, Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club, of which he is a member.
Prior to the debate, Cr David Hughes sought leave due to a family member being involved with the club, but it wasn’t until some 20 minutes later that Cr Vallelonga admitted he, too, should leave the chamber.
“Excuse me, mayor, I’ve got to speak up, I’ve got to apologise, I am in the car club,” Cr Vallelonga said just prior to the vote.
“I don’t think I should be in this vote, I just realised.”
Disbelieving voices erupted from the gallery, saying “you can’t be serious”.
Earlier this year, Cr Vallelonga was involved in another conflict of interest blunder relating to his Murray Street business.
Debating the street’s T-junction, which was being considered for an upgrade, Cr Vallelonga made some opposing arguments, before commenting that the upgrade would be a detriment to “our” business.
The comment was described as a “faux pas”, before Cr Kevin Fischer said Cr Vallelonga meant to say the “businesses in our area”.
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