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Resignation Rocks the Castle 

It is not often that a resignation rocks the boat to the extent of that of Katina Conomos – Strategic Planning Team Leader, made public today.

I would have to say that in my opinion, Katina was the most competent, and qualified staff member of our Council. She arrived in 2010, together with Simon, now her husband, from occupying a senior planning position within the NSW Government. They both enjoy living in Thames.

Katina immediately impressed with completely professional approach that has continued to shine during the subsequent four years of turmoil and torment throughout the organisation that culminated in the recent witch-hunt designed to nail whoever was ‘leaking’ information from within.

As it happens, Katina and Simon have become close friends of my wife and I – Barby and Katina took Te Reo together from the outset, and they have subsequently shared an interest in the musical life of the town as colleagues on the Music Group Committee.

For the record, in the entire time I have known Katina, she has steadfastly and quite properly avoided any conversation regarding goings on within the Castle. And I in turn have totally respected her position of responsibility within TCDC, and have never once broached any matter that may have caused embarrassment. Fortunately, we have other interests that have made this unspoken pact easy to preserve.

Naturally, I have had professional contact in regard to factual matters relating to posts I was preparing – never once did this result in the release of any confidential or other matters that may have breached her confidentiality agreement with the Council. I would be interested to know if the totally childish forensic investigations that have been undertaken internally over recent weeks has anything to do with Katina’s sudden decision to resign and move on.

That aside, I have detected in Katina’s recent demeanour a total frustration with the management of the organisation, and the decision making processes have led to so many resignations over the last two years to the immense disadvantage of our Council and ratepayers.

One thing I am certain about is that Katina’s resignation will be causing immense angst at all levels of the organisation. Remarks made to me privately by many senior staff today confirmed that impression – shock and despair was abundantly clear.

The quality of Katina’s work was confirmed today with submissions made to the Thames Community Board in regard to Freedom Camping - the extremely poor work of Ben Day in preparing the By-law that appears likely to be thrown out following Judicial Review is now obvious.

It is perfectly clear that the current Hammond/Day regime has run its course. The resignation of Katina Conomos is clearly the end result of high level incompetence, and hubris. Do not expect any improvement until steps are taken to change the regime, and remove these people. I will not detail at this stage other matters that have come to my attention recently that make this change imperative, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely to happen while Leach remains Mayor. He simply does not understand his own limitations, and those of people that he has employed - he certainly appears to find it difficult to admit to having made any error of judgement in regard to appointments, or anything else for that matter.





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Reader Comments (7)

Yet another top class officer gone.

Katina was one of the best.

What is really starting to get funny is how there is now been two lots of staff turn overs in a few key roles. Even funnier is that they are ones that have a lot to do with the powers that be. Wonder if there is anything in that?

Hard to understand considering they have all been very competent staff too.

So is it a sign of problems within, or is it a sign of consistently poor recruitment?

I wish Katina all the best, she will succeed wherever she goes and be a real asset to whatever organisation.

At least it is good to know that when you get out of the place not all Councils are like this one and it becomes significantly easier to live a happy life.

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVeni, vidi, abiit

Heres me signing Katina's leaving card - Good on you Katina, I wondered how long you would last! I really enjoyed my time working with you. Good luck with your next challenge.

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

Yes Katina will be a major loss to this district and one would hope it sends a strong signal to all councillors and senior staff that an urgent look at staff pressure is now needed. No more wishy washy chocolate fish, feel good, staff boosting sermons but a deep probe into why good staff are leaving the sinking ship. HR is failing miserably and it will be a case of last out turn off the light at this rate.
Aroha Katina you certainly deserve better so enjoy your new life on the outside.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeparted

Leach Hammond and Day.....thats why people are leaving! Incompetence at its best.

All the best Katina you are lucky you have escaped

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterinformed

Gives credence to Mayor Leach's comment---- "give me three years and I will throw a blanket over Thames and choke it"
From one of NZ's best staffed Councils to one where staff are basically at Council because they need a job rather than they want to be there-- all very sad-- many excellent staff have gone to [in most cases] better employment elsewhere.
the senior top three, Leach, Hammond and need to remember --- what goes round comes round

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEt tu Brute

Here below is how Katina's manager broke the news to staff and councillors. A message that is shared by all of us who care. All the best Katina, you deserved better.

"Tena koutou

Katina Conomos has resigned this week. Katina will be leaving in 4 weeks or so, having committed to see the bylaws project through and to provide guidance and transition in relation to various other projects.

In her letter of resignation, Katina expresses the large measure of sadness she felt in coming to this decision. In respecting and accepting Katina's decision, I think it is the case that the sadness I feel surpasses hers.

In Katina, the council is losing a dedicated and highly competent officer; many of us are losing a work colleague who, at the same time, has become a close personal friend.

But whilst work postings come and go, true friendship need not.

And so I'm pleased that Katina will be staying in Thames; and I'll look forward to that coffee/coke zero at Cafe Melbourne with her.

I've always respected Katina's advice. And I would often seek out and value her counsel because I knew such was trustworthy. I'm reflecting now and thinking that that was supposed have been the other way around.

Heioano tena. Nga mihi nui rawa atu ki a koe, e Katina.

Mauri ora"

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarista

Iam very sorry to see you leave Katina ,thanks for the skills you provided and the welcome you gave to us who were not council employees.
You will be joining a large group of staff who have left this year, all the best for your next challenge

May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

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