AN anonymous email sent to the Moonee Valley Weekly has criticised the council for holding its annual mayoral race night last Friday during the election caretaker period.
The email, signed off with 'Concerned Citizens', said the night offered an unfair advantage to incumbent mayor Jim Cusack and deputy Miriam Gillis.
"Although the event is for charity, it attracts over 300 guests who are from local businesses and community. The event is organised by Moonee Valley Council and uses council resources, providing what I see is an unfair advantage to the above candidates at the expense of ratepayers," the email stated.
In previous years, the mayoral charity race event has been held in November. Each mayor, since the annual charity race night started in 2005, has hosted the event during their mayoral term. Council chief executive Neville Smith, said: "In keeping with the tradition of this event, the date for this year's race night was chosen so that the event did not skip a mayoral term and was within Moonee Valley Racing Club's night racing season, which began on Friday, September 28 — after the council's caretaker period had started.
"Council has taken steps to ensure that the event is run in accordance with its caretaker policy. Measures taken include removing the 'mayor's message' from the front of the race book and keeping speeches to a minimum at the event."
■ Election candidates across the municipality have also been dobbed in to the Moonee Valley Weekly for displaying election posters on public land, nailing posters to trees and having them on parked trucks on nature strips — all in contravention of local laws.
■ Although the ALP does not formally endorse candidates, members are bound by party rules to direct preferences to each other. In Rosehill ward, ALP member Ange Kenos has preferenced Liberal Ted Hatzakortzian before fellow ALP stalwart John Sipek and in return Mr Sipek has put Mr Kenos at the bottom of his preference list.