Mayor Tony Herbert was given a "backhander" about being on holidays and not at Monday night's Warrnambool council meeting during a debate on whether to bring back general business.
Cr Sue Cassidy had put forward the motion but said "some councillors seem to have a real resistance to general business returning to council".
"If we are to get the trust and support of our community back we need to be open and transparent," she said.
Cr Cassidy said with the state government looking at new governance rules for councils, it was a good time to put general business back on the agenda.
She said general business was a good tool to talk about the great things in the community and let people know about what's happening in council such as the mayor taking holidays after being in the position for 29 days.
"I've never heard of a position allowing holidays so early in their employment, especially when we're not back in council until January 20," she said.
Her comments drew a vocal reaction from some in the audience and prompted Cr Mike Neoh to call a point of order.
"Local law actually talks about embarrassing councillors and officers and I think that's probably inappropriate given the topic is looking at a particular item," he said.
Cr Neoh said on Tuesday Cr Cassidy talked about being an open and transparent council but on the other hand gave the mayor a "backhander" when general business was about acknowledging the good work council had done.
"It's not to point score and grandstand," he said.
Cr Neoh said if Monday night was any indication, councillors would make up their own mind whether it was a good idea to bring it back.
He said in the past general business had been inappropriately used for point scoring by councillors and for customer service-type issues.
"It will be interesting if it was brought back whether it will be abused or used to acknowledge the good work of council," he said.
Cr Neoh also pointed out some councillors had missed budget meetings, which he said should be made compulsory.
"That's the whole year in one vote," he said. "You have to be careful throwing stones if you live in a glass house."
General business was removed from council meetings in about 2015.
Cr Neoh said reintroducing general business would be subject to community consultation, but he supported a review of the laws.
Cr Kylie Gaston said the recommendations put forward in the motion were sensible.
"I think general business should remain limited to general business and these recommendations and that would be a great outcome," she said.
Cr Peter Hulin said for the past few years councillors had been "silenced within the meeting procedures".
"It's not healthy and I don't believe it's democratic," he said.
The motion to consider introducing general business back into meetings, with tight conditions on complaints going through proper processes and topics being limited to three minutes, got the backing of councillors.
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