COCKBURN mayoral candidate Logan Howlett has attacked claims made by former mayor Stephen Lee that he ran a “well-funded” and “large” campaign in the 2005 election.
Mr Howlett ran against Mr Lee at the last Cockburn election.
He said Mr Lee’s comments to the Gazette about the reason behind his campaign spending were misleading.
“My wife and I spent $12,000 in 2005 from our own bank account and we can substantiate every cent,” he said.
“We got no help from ‘outsiders’, but Mr Lee can’t remember or doesn’t know who funded his campaign.”
Both Mr Howlett and Mr Lee have promised to run affordable re-election campaigns in 2009.
The two will be vying for the role of mayor against at least two other candidates – councillor Ian Whitfield and deputy mayor Kevin Allen.
The former mayor resigned from his position earlier this month after Local Government Minister John Castrilli threatened to suspend the entire council if he did not.
Mr Castrilli’s stance followed findings of misconduct, handed down by the Corruption and Crime Commission last September, regarding Mr Lee’s 2005 re-election funding.
Jandakot MLA Joe Francis said voters should consider the CCC findings in the coming election.
Mr Francis said the preferential proportional voting system, in place for this election, would mean Mr Lee or any candidate could be elected even if people did not vote for them as number one.
“The number of candidates could be helping Lee with their preferences,” he said. “If you don’t want Lee, you have to put him last.”
Opposition local government spokesman Paul Papalia said Mr Lee made the right decision by stepping down from his post, but he did not comment on Mr Lee’s desire to stand for re-election.
“By resigning he has ensured that his fellow councillors are not held accountable for events in which they had no involvement,” Mr Papalia said.
He said the election would provide residents with the opportunity to vote for their choice.