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Tuesday
Sep152015

Sam Marshall Departs!

It gives me no pleasure to mark the resignation of Sam Marshall as Whitianga Area Manager.

It could have been very different had Sam won the position of Deputy Chief Executive instead of Ben Day. Day was of course Leach's choice - we all knew that, and Hammond was totally unable to resist the pressure that Leach applied to get his 'favourite son' into the job - all part of the Great Economic Push so dear to Leach's heart, and for which Day was so ill-prepared.

Sam took six months off to lick his wounds and returned to Whitianga a couple of months ago, but I think we all knew that it was only a matter of time before he accepted the inevitabilitry of his position and took off to greener pastures. Day made sure that he (and others he considered a threat) were kept 'outside the tent.'

What is interesting is that of all the staff at TCDC, he was the most appropriately qualified for the position that Day acquired despite the fact that he has no appropriate qualifications or experience for the job - his backgound was communications, and in my view has has spent the last two years "faking it till he made it" - not my description - rather that of one of his most 'loyal' accolytes.

The damage he has done to morale, and the totally dysfunctional atmosphere within the Castle is really an indictment of both Hammond and Leach who were responsible for putting him in the position in the first place. 

Sam on the other hand was extremely well qualified and demonstrated sound management qualities while running the Whitianga office. He was of course 'hung out to dry' over the Mercury Bay Sports Complex debacle though it had very little to do with him. His predecessor had literally set him up to fail on that deal, and guess who came out smelling of roses - none other than Mr Hopper and all those associated with him. 

Sam's successes include the town upgrade, the boat ramps, the Cook's Beach ramparts and countless other successful projects around the town. But more important, Sam understood the ways and means, and the limitations of the LGA, and everything he did was done with the utmost integrity and competence. 

I for one will be extremely sorry to see Sam go, wish him well in his new South Island venture, and deplore the gap he leaves in Council ranks - they can ill afford to lose someone with his overall ability and knowledge. 

Go well Sam!

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

Actually Bill, I would think it is Whangamata that owes the biggest thanks to Sam Marshall.
Major main street upgrade, our town has the best main street atmosphere of any Peninsula town, then there is the beautiful marina as you come into town, the upgraded water supply, the latest in waste water disposal, the help he gave to Beach hop [Sam is a car nut], the summer festivals- all these and more in Whangamata under his watch--- thank you Sam.

September 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPipi

Agree wholeheartedly on this post Bill. Sam has a very sound background in local government and should have been the number 1 candidate for the Deputy Chief Executive role. In both his roles at Whangamata and Mercury Bay Ares Offices he was well respected within the communities for his enthusiastic approach to ensuring local projects got off the ground.

Agree Sam has inherited the MB Sports ground and has done a sterling job to improve the poorly conceived facility.

At least Sam has demonstrated he has marketable skills that the mainland will benefit from. Wishing Sam all the best in his new venture, and he will be sorely missed by the MB Community and staff at TCDC.

Every dog has his day... as you say Bill you cannot keep faking it, eventually you will get exposed and stand on the wrong person toes in the process. Respect is earned and not a given with the title of a role - the arrogance demonstrated by Day is not acceptable and not conducive to building very low staff morale.

September 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Given Cr Goudie's attack on the competence of Ben Day and his suitability for his position on the EDC at today's council meeting it would seem Mr Day need not bother taking lunch on the first day of the new term if Cr Goudie stands for, and is elected Mayor. While Sam Marshall may have been a contender for the position in Thames he had a huge task cleaning up the chaos in Mercury Bay which incidentally was to be covered in a full and detailed report promised at the Whitianga meeting where Mercury Bay ratepayers were told that 'hidden costs' would require additional rates of some several hundred dollars a year. Will this now be forgotten?

September 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Jeffares

Well what will Leachy say about 'power to the communities now'-- obviously the TCDC has not provided enough support to the area managers and now the first cracks have appeared it is only a matter of time before the rest cave in. People mutter darkly aboout the increase in staff numbers in Auckland Supper City but I am picking there has been a considerable increase of staff since the Leach/Hammond marriage and the pressures in keeping control of local budgets when people the likes of Day and Leach are rushing hither and thither with crazy new ideas about walkways, natural heritage, private /public motor rallies, grandiose harbour schemes [Coromandel] and Heaven knows what else, will mean more and more staff will flee from this Council. Bring on the elections --we need to vote out Leach and et al, remove the upper layer of staff and restore some confidence back into what staff there may be left-- sadly the best have been removed/forced out and now we have lost one of the last true managers, a man of intergrity and strong work ethics --truely a sad day for this Council and the ratepayers of the Peninsula.

September 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRed Alert

The "architect of community empowerment" (Mr Hammond's words), Mr Marshall had a leading role in engineering the Council restructure. He was able to appease politicians and many, but buy no means all, community members, but his autocratic approach and his need to be in control was extremely unpopular with TCDC staff. I do, however, wish him well though in his new venture.

September 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

Sailing away - if Sam was the architect of community empowerment, which has been condoned by the Mayor and CE which has had mainly positive outcomes why then was he not considered for the DCE role? I have had dealings with Sam and other Area Managers and found him to be very engaging, intelligent and results driven and would rate him over the others. The autocratic management style stems from the top as does bullyiing and disdainful behaviour towards staff who openly demonstrate their intelligence - which is deemed as a threat and not encouraged at all.

September 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFlying Free

Flying Free - I dont know why Sam wasn't appointed to the DCE role, you'd have to ask Mr Hammond. But Sam's style was authoritative and autocratic long before Leach / Hammond came along - he resented not having decision making delegation on many things, and used to make staff very uncomfortable in some situations. I'm not saying that community enpowerment doesnt have positive outcomes (it does in the case of TCDC mostly), but to do it you need to load up and replicate the staff and, as is more the case now, consultants, to achieve the outcomes. The big failing now is that most of the new staff and consultants I have met clearly have the knowledge, but no passion or engagement in what they are doing - and this "going through the motions" is a direct reflection of the authoritative culture stemming from the top. Somehow I dont think Sam would be very good at going through the motions!!

September 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

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