Warrnambool mayor Tony Herbert says unruly disruptions at council meetings will not be tolerated and some ratepayers will receive letters about their behaviour.
Monday's council meeting was adjourned during a debate about a trip to Sweden for the mayor, chief executive officer and a council officer due to unrest in the public gallery.
Anger boiled over about the trip, with people yelling out.
"We will be looking at what we can and can't do within the confines of the Local Government Act," Cr Herbert said.
"This is not the way Warrnambool people behave. They are positive and supportive of each other. They can have tough conversations without resorting to this behaviour. If that's the way some members of the Warrnambool Ratepayers Association are going to behave it will stop people from joining. It seemed like an aggressive, abusive group.
"It's not every member of the group. I have no problem with a good strong association being an advocate for ratepayers, but when they resort to this sort of behaviour they do damage throughout Warrnambool. We are all adults and it's not a schoolyard."
Councillor Mike Neoh said behaviour not compliant with Local Laws should not be tolerated.
"Officers are in a workplace and while councillors aren't directly employed by the council we are covered under OH&S and workplace legislation," he said.
"Mob mentality and neanderthal-type behaviour should not be tolerated in a workplace. I will be communicating with the CEO and mayor to ensure that people who breach the local laws are aware of the consequences of their actions including measures such as fines and being removed by police.
"If a person is asked to leave and they don't they are technically trespassing and police are able to remove them according to local law."
Cr Kylie Gaston called for respectful discussions with ratepayers.
"As a community I believe we value respect and good manners and it really is frustrating when you can't even hear each other's debate," she said.
"It's not productive nor does it actually inform. Listening to a playback of the meeting will illustrate this. I understand there is a level of community angst at the moment and we do need to work through it constructively."
Warrnambool Ratepayers' Association president Brian Kelson acknowledged some members of the group had yelled out and disrupted the meeting.
"I would not put any constraints on anybody but it would be better if we could have a meeting without that happening," he said.
"Yes there was a lot of ratepayer people there but they certainly not all members."
Mr Kelson, himself a former councillor, said the current council had "to go down as one of the worst councils in living memory".
"We want a council that represents the ratepayers of the city and at the moment the council has battened down the hatches," he said.
"They have single-handedly damaged the brand of Warrnambool. People are seeing through them. There has to be better ways. I have met with the council and I've offered to help in any way I can. We as ratepayers are trying to do the best we can for people that are doing it tough."
The council's guide to meetings says members in the public gallery are not allowed to interrupt.
"Council meetings are a formal meeting," it says.
"This means that visitors are bound by the Governance (Meeting Procedure) Local Law and are not permitted to interrupt the meeting proceedings. The Local Law gives the power to the chair to order a person to leave the chamber if the person interjects or attempts to disrupt the meeting. A person asked to leave the meeting who refuses to do is guilty of an offence."
The Standard has sought comment from the council chief executive officer about the disruptive behaviour from some members of the public gallery and whether any action would be taken but he has not responded.