The Office of the Mayor and City Clerk has responded following Cr. Billy Abae’s outburst in the media with regards to his termination as Chairman for Finance.
The claim by Cr. Abae that his termination was from him questioning the Mayor’s entitlement, was total nonsense and is misleading.
City Clerk Sore said the sacking of Cr. Abae from Finance Chair is based on non-performance and has got nothing to do with what Abae claimed in the media.
In clarifying the Mayor’s entitlement, Sore said Schedule (Paragraph 2) of the Mayor’s Entitlements specifies that Housing Allowance is $5,000.00 per month.
Furthermore, Section 9 of Honiara City (Mayors Entitlements) Awards 2010 mentions that for utilities, $3000 shall be paid on a monthly basis for the cost of gas, water and electricity at the Mayor’s Residence.
Section 10 states that for telephone: “The Council shall also provide for the Mayor with a mobile phone but all of his personal calls are to be paid for by the Mayor to the Council in full at the beginning of each month for the previous month”. Mayor receives $1,000.00 cash advance per month for official calls.
“That said, the claim by former Chairman for Finance Standing Committee to say that he was sacked by the Mayor ‘because he questioned the total amount of money he wanted to advance as his (Mayors) rental entitlement’ is misleading,” the Clerk said.
“Furthermore, advancing of entitlements is normal in a Government System. Ministers/Permanent Secretaries also received an advance payment of entitlements at the beginning of each quarter.
“The $27,000.00 advance payment of Mayors Entitlement is for the 2nd quarter 2020, which was made payable at the beginning of second quarter 2020,” Sore said.
The City Clerk added that at this time of slow revenue collection due to COVID-19 pandemic the Council needs a robust and smart thinking Chairman – these are essential qualities of a good Chairman.
Mayor Wilson Mamae further clarified that not only was non-performance the reason behind his termination.
According to the Mayor, as Chairman for Finance, Abae was unable to provide the financial report for 2019 and the first quarter for this year 2020.
Also, there was no proper retirement of his ward grant for the fourth quarter of 2019 and also the first quarter of this year 2020.
“These retirements are requirements under the HCC Act to be submitted before another grant payment is released,” Mamae added.
Mayor Mamae further states that there were no bond fees, monthly rental, and business licenses paid for his lock-up shop at the Central market since last year.
“His actions of misconduct even went to the extent when under the influence of liquor, he threatened finance officers for the release of payments, acted in a disorderly manner, and urinated within the office.
“He even forcefully demanded cash of $ 5000 from the HCC cashier when he was intoxicated, which he never reimbursed until now,” Mamae said.
The Mayor said his attitude is disrespectful and such action does not speaks well from someone who is a leader, and all these misconducts will be forwarded to the Leadership Code Commission for further investigation.