Crumbs! Mayor investigated for making son’s cake at council
Mitcham Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross is in hot water over the cooking of a chocolate cake in the council kitchen.
The mayor is under an external investigation after a keen-eyed Mitcham resident complained she had broken the Local Government Act by using council property to bake a cake for her son James' birthday.
Brian Ross (no relation) from Lower Mitcham said he was surprised to see Ms Holmes-Ross boast about baking at the Mitcham chambers on Belair Rd on her mayoral Facebook page.
In her FB post, Ms Holmes-Ross made the comments:
"Work/life balance in action. I made the dessert in the council kitchen between appointments. The smell of melting chocolate permeated through the building making it seem very homely. I'm not sure that a mayor has baked in the kitchen before."
Mr Ross, a 30-year resident of Mitcham, said the post struck him as "odd".
"That's because I'm aware there are rules that an officer of council should not utilise council property for their own use," he said.
"It may turn out to be a minor contravention but rules are rules.
"I'm watching Mitcham very closely and if someone oversteps the mark there should be a ramification."
Mr Ross said he had been "unhappy" with the direction of the council since Ms Holmes-Ross won the mayoral election last year when she defeated incumbent Glenn Spear in a bitter contest.
In May, Ms Holmes-Ross apologised to Mr Spear in council over lewd Facebook posts she made during the campaign.
"My ideal result is that she should be thrown out of council. I haven't enjoyed her term," Mr Ross said.
"What really riled me up was the council cancelling the Christmas carols. I was there with many others the night they had to reverse the decision.
"And now council has an obsession with a supposed climate emergency that should be under the umbrella of the federal and state governments.
"They are wasting council's time and ratepayer's money."
Ms Heather Holmes-Ross confirmed to The Advertiser the matter was being investigated as a potential breach of the elected members' Code of Conduct.
She denied she gained any benefit from using the kitchen.
'If anything the community is the beneficiary because I spent another hour at the council chamber available to talk to residents rather than race home and cook," she said.
The mayor, who runs the award-winning Artisan Cafe at Blackwood with her husband Jonathan Holmes, where he is the chef, says the dessert was no example of cordon bleu cooking and was an old recipe she's had since high school.
"It's actually a chocolate slice made from melted down Mars Bars and then with Coco Pops thrown in," she said.
"It's been his (James') favourite since he was very young.
"I used the council microwave - nothing else - for 15 minutes to melt down the Mars Bars. I made a triple batch on the day.
"Some might think this is frivolous but the council takes all complaints seriously and that's all I can say at this time."
A Mitcham spokeswoman confirmed the complaint had been received and would be independently investigated.