Mem­ber of board sacked

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Carly Tawhiao

EDEN-AL­BERT Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Ryan Hicks has of­fi­cially gone AWOL.

The 25-year-old was recorded as be­ing ab­sent without leave at the board’s monthly meet­ing for the fourth con­sec­u­tive time last week.

Pro­to­col says his ab­sence without apol­ogy cre­ates an ex­traor­di­nary va­cancy within the lo­cal au­thor­ity, fol­low­ing his au­to­matic stand­down.

Democ­racy ser­vices group man­ager Chris­tine Wat­son says be­cause the va­cancy has occurred within 12 months of the next elec­tion, the coun­cil does not have the power to call for a by elec­tion.

Eden-Al­bert board chair­man Christo­pher Dempsey says the board will re­ceive a re­port at this month’s meet­ing out­lin­ing its op­tions which in­clude fill­ing the va­cancy by ap­point­ing a suit­able re­place­ment, or leav­ing the seat empty.

He says be­cause of Mr Hicks’ rel­a­tive in­ex­pe­ri­ence, he had tried to make sure he felt in­cluded, but says it soon be­came ob­vi­ous he wasn’t in­ter­ested in the role.

“He was press-ganged into stand­ing by his dad and I don’t think he ever ex­pected to win,” Mr Dempsey says.

“Clearly he didn’t want to be there and it showed. So in ev­ery sense, this is com­pletely the best out­come.”

The New Wind­sor res­i­dent was the only Cit­i­zens & Ratepay­ers can­di­date to get elected to the board which ser­vices a pop­u­la­tion of about 65,000.

In 2007 he cam­paigned along­side his fa­ther Kevin Hicks, who un­suc­cess­fully stood for the Auck­land District Health Board.

Mr Hicks is the sec­ond elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive to leave this year be­fore ful­fill­ing the term, fol­low­ing City Vi­sion rep­re­sen­ta­tive Eli­nor Har­vey’s de­ci­sion to re­sign in Jan­uary.

How­ever Eden-Al­bert coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey says this is the first known ex­am­ple of the ab­sent without leave stand­ing or­ders be­ing used by the coun­cil.

“Nor­mally peo­ple have the good grace to apol­o­gise or if they’ve got cir­cum­stances of sickness, fam­ily trou­ble or loss of in­come and mov­ing,” says Dr Casey.

“I’ve never heard of any­one not apol­o­gis­ing and just drop­ping off the end as it were. By not turn­ing up four times in a row he’s ef­fec­tively sacked him­self.”

Cit­i­zens & Ratepay­ers pres­i­dent John Slater says he be­came aware of the sit­u­a­tion last week but has been un­able to get in con­tact with Mr Hicks.

He says Mr Hicks’ time on the board has not been happy.

“City Vi­sion has treated him quite shab­bily. He has been poorly treated and it’s sim­ply dis­grace­ful,” he says.

“In the in­ter­ests of fair play we will be re­spond­ing about his mal­treat­ment in the near fu­ture.”

For the com­mu­nity board Mr Hicks’ civic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­cluded youth is­sues and ac­tiv­i­ties within the sub­urb of St Lukes and he re­ceived an an­nual hon­o­rar­ium of $10,100.

His $380 fort­nightly pay­ments were stopped on Fri­day.

When con­tacted by the Cen­tral Leader, Mr Hicks de­clined to com­ment. Green has turned out to be a lucky colour for Linda Everett.

It was the colour of her first suit, given to her by the char­ity Dress for Suc­cess, and af­ter wear­ing it to a job in­ter­view


Lucky out­fit: Linda Everett still has this green suit, given to her 10 years ago by Dress for Suc­cess.

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