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Wednesday
Oct162019

Back To Life, Starting With the Council!

No, I was not shocked off my perch by the results of the election, or the downpour on Monday night, though I was touched by the enquiries! It was simply a case of being fully engaged with entertaining friends from 'Bundy' (the 'Every Dog a Dingo' story went totally 'over their heads,' but the idea of $3,500 jars of honey on the shelves at Harrods made an impression. 

Frankly, there did not appear a great deal to comment on, though on reflection a couple of changes do warrant examination, if only becasue of the effect on the future dynamic of Council, and willingness to accept Sandra's domination as was patently obvious on the last Council.

The two who I know have the knowledge and experience to 'take her on' as it were, are Police OIC John Morrissey from Coromandel, and barrister Gary Goitlieb from Whangamata. And I will go so far as to suggest that the first sparks will fly over the make-up of the Committees - in particular the all-important Chief Executive Committee that oversees the performance and salary of the Chief Executive, and his three-year contract that will shortly be up for review.

No-one was impressed with the CEO's 'last-minute' revelation of the $2m overspend on the Whitianga Town Centre, including the two - McLean and Fox, who would normally have expected re-appointment to this Committee along with the Mayor. Fox's tenure as Chair of Audit and Risk, may also come in for attention. He should have known far more about what was going on in regard to over-expenditure generally, and the 'run-down' of depreciation reserves -he clearly displayed inadequate governance nous to have let this 'get away.'

McLean will probably get Infrastructure again, though there are also questions over his oversight of the Whitianga contract. I am picking an attempt will be made at a complete 'clean-out' on all committees, and an introduction of 'new blood' to shake up a complacent structure. Mayor Sandra may find her authority well and truly 'on the line' when the process comes around.

It is interesting that the first meeting has yet to be notified on the Council website - somewhat unusual I would suggest, and perhaps indicative of background maneuvering through 'closed door' workshops. These are often used to impose a level of uniformity on the thinking of new councillors (four), particularly in regard to the authority of the Mayor over Committee appointments. I am not at all sure of the where Martin Rodley and Alison Choppin, both from Thames, are likely to stand in this regard, but they may well  be influenced by other more experienced members. 

As a 'parting shot' in regard to defeated members - Jan Bartley, Tony Brljevich and Rex Simpson (Note that Strat Peters 'stood down'), I don't think any will be missed - Jan is well past his 'use-by' date, Tony has been far too indecisive, and Rex simply useless by my observation. I was not surprised by Sally's return at the top of the poll, but regard this as an entirely inappropriate success when viewed through the lens of her involvement with the Waikato Health Board debacle. On the other hand, she has applied the 'blowtorch' on occasion to the some of Mayor Sandra's more egregious moves. 

All I can say is that based on past performance, Walker, Fox and McLean with stand 'four-square' with Mayor Sandra on most issues; Sally will waiver, and the remainder are 'in play.' Should be interesting. 

Next, the Mayor, Thames Community Board, and the Regional Council.

 

 

 

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