Chief lax

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

I was in­ter­ested in read­ing M Smith’s call for the re­turn of former Mayor Gor­don Blake.

What­ever his rea­sons, I’m afraid chang­ing the mayor won’t solve any of his per­ceived prob­lems within coun­cil.

It ap­pears that not many peo­ple in this district are aware that we have two coun­cils.

Those elected by us and the ex­ec­u­tive, the per­ma­nent coun­cil staff who are sup­posed to carry out the wishes of elected mem­bers.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive David Hall is the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the di­rec­tion, con­trol and dis­ci­pline of the paid staff.

The mayor and elected coun­cil­lors have ab­so­lutely no author­ity over the paid staff, and if there is a mon­u­men­tal stuff up by a staff mem­ber, such as a waste han­dling con­tract, the only per­son who can dis­ci­pline that mem­ber is the chief ex­ec­u­tive.

This ap­par­ently didn’t hap­pen and is not good enough.

This staff mem­ber, by in­com­pe­tence or skul­dug­gery, cost the ratepay­ers about $380,000 and as far as I’m aware is still on the pay­roll.

There is some hope on the hori­zon in so far as the Government’s Lo­cal Body Author­ity is now de­bat­ing changes to the act which would give the mayor, in par­tic­u­lar, more author­ity over per­ma­nent staff, such that coun­cils can be

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