Mayor backed for sev­er­ing ties

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

‘‘I have been dis­ap­pointed some­times at the level of neg­a­tive thoughts.’’

Cen­tral Otago’s mayor and fel­low board mem­bers who have boy­cotted at­tend­ing fur­ther meet­ings with the Alexan­dra, Clyde and Dis­tricts Busi­ness Group have been over­whelmed with com­mu­nity sup­port.

Last Wed­nes­day, Tim Cado­gan emailed busi­nesses in the re­gion alert­ing them to his de­ci­sion to ter­mi­nate his re­la­tion­ship with the group, as he said it had been op­er­at­ing un­law­fully and ef­forts to en­gage with the group pos­i­tively had been un­suc­cess­ful.

The busi­ness group chair­man Barry Ham­ble­ton said the group’s in­terim man­age­ment com­mit­tee was meet­ing this week to dis­cuss Cado­gan’s email but he de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

Since the email was sent, Cado­gan said he had re­ceived ‘‘a very brief let­ter’’ from Ham­ble­ton. ‘‘I have had many emails from busi­nesses sup­port­ing the po­si­tion I have taken and none op­pos­ing it.’’

In his email, Cado­gan said he had gone to ‘‘great lengths’’ to im­prove the dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship be­tween the coun­cil and the group, with­out suc­cess.

Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers Brian Fitzger­ald and Rus­sell Gar­butt had joined him in his ef­forts, he said.

‘‘Re­gret­tably, I now find my­self in a po­si­tion where I feel I have no choice but to re­move my­self from that re­la­tion­ship.’’

Cado­gan’s claim of un­law­ful be­hav­iour re­lated to the group’s re­cent AGM and the process around how the com­mit­tee, and po­si­tions within the com­mit­tee, were ap­pointed.

Gar­butt said Cado­gan’s ac­tions were ‘‘to­tally un­der­stand­able’’ and he had re­ceived ‘‘very sup­port­ive’’ feed­back from busi­nesses since the email.

‘‘In my year I have been at­tend­ing the busi­ness group I have been dis­ap­pointed some­times at the level of neg­a­tive thoughts.’’

He was ‘‘as­tounded’’ at the pro­cesses em­ployed at the AGM.

‘‘It was re­ally quite sur­pris­ing. I have been to lots and lots of AGMs and have never seen a process like that be­fore.’’

He and fel­low board mem­ber Brian Fitzger­ald would not at­tend fu­ture meet­ings, he said.

‘‘It may be they have a good think about the ac­tions they have taken and de­cide to do things dif­fer­ently.

‘‘If that is the case I would go back, but if it’s the sta­tus quo, I won’t be.’’

GOT IT IN ONE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Alec Divers, of Roxburgh, looks through pic­tures and news­pa­per clip­pings col­lected over the past 50 years cap­tur­ing the his­tory of the Millers Flat and Et­trick vol­un­teer fire brigade. The com­mu­ni­ties cel­e­brated their brigade’s 50th jubliee at Labour Week­end. About 100 cur­rent and for­mer mem­bers, as well as sup­port­ers, at­tended the cel­e­bra­tions which in­cluded a street pa­rade and meet and greet at the fire sta­tion.

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