Ben Day is Deputy CE
Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7:27PM
Bill Barclay

Like a bolt from the blue came the announcement late today that Ben Day has been appointed Deputy Chief Executive.

He was running neck and neck with Sam Marshall for the deputy head boy position for the last twelve months - Hammond has given indications that he had ambitions to head further up another ladder before too long, and most of us were expecting him to give a nod to either Ben or Sam as his successor.

Sam's experience in local government is infinitely greater than Ben's, but he has the habit of rubbing people up the wrong way with his very self assured attitude that can verge on arrogance. The continuing difficulties at the Whitianga Sports Complex will be being laid directly at his door - he should have been on top of it by now. The combination of these factors has probably told in Ben's favour. I would expect him to be looking very closely at alternative positions as of now unless he perceives Ben crashing and burning - a long shot! 

Readers will be aware of the my concerns regarding Ben, but Hammond clearly holds him in high regard. I really cannot understand the need for a deputy in an organisation the size of TCDC - it is all additional money, and it will be interesting to see the range of activities for which he will now become responsible. Unfortunately there has been a real reluctance to reveal a detailed organisation chart publicly to date, and all the presser tells us is that he will "develop services and assets", whatever that means - Hatchet man more likely. Certainly Hammond's statement that he has higher issues to deal with at the unitary authority level could indicate that he is intending to concentrate on corralling the top job in what ever emerges.

Anyway, it would be churlish not to offer congratulations to Ben - I hope he enjoys the task, and that he perhaps can find a way out of the Council's current financial problems. It may take someone other than a financial guru to see though the folly of past policies.




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