Councillor’s commitment questioned
Deputy mayor Liz Kelly is missing in action according to her councillor colleague Anita Baker, having missed seven of eight council meetings and workshops this year.
Her absences are an insult to ratepayers who fund her $40,288 annual salary, Ms Baker says.
‘‘We have been appalled by the fact that Liz is still drawing her salary and has not attended the [meetings and workshops] that have been in our councillor calendars for 2013.’’
Ms Kelly has missed all five workshops this year, one Te Komiti meeting and and extraordinary full council meeting.
She has only been seen once by her fellow councillors, at a Te Komiti meeting on February 14, which she left early, Ms Baker says.
Her apologies were not accepted by councillors at the council meeting, the missed Te Komiti meeting and a workshop. Ms Kelly can be dismissed from council if she misses four full council meetings without good cause.
‘‘As somebody who supported Liz as deputy mayor, [I] would like to know does she still have the commitment to the job?
‘‘Liz does not appear to be pulling her weight. I think that Liz owes the council and ratepayers an explanation.’’
Ms Kelly has defended her attendance, saying councillors do not need to attend workshops.
‘‘We aren’t required to go to workshops and of course if I felt it was important then I’d be there. It’s not a reflection of my role and commitment to the city.’’
First-term councillors like Ms Baker have more need to attend workshops, she says.
Her attendance over this triennium matches that of mayor Nick Leggett.
‘‘What I’m annoyed about as well is that the attendance figures clearly show that my attendance is 80 per cent, which is the same as our mayor, and the mayoral role is a full-time job. I have a fulltime job.’’
In November Mr Leggett defended councillor Litea Ah Hoi’s 63 per cent attendance rate, saying she made her contribution to council in other ways.
‘‘I would have thought the work that I’m doing around Creekfest, particularly raising awareness of the health and social services in Porirua, would be recognised,’’ Ms Kelly says.