IN the interests of accuracy, I take this opportunity to correct one of Mayor Tim Shadbolt’s publicly stated misconceptions about my mother, Eve Poole, Mayor of Invercargill 1983-1992.
Mr Shadbolt has stated on television and radio that, in seeking to change his deputy mayor midterm, he is following Eve Poole’s practice and that she personally ‘‘sacked’’ successive deputies, including Jim Fenton and Mark Winter.
The record shows that during my mother’s mayoralty, the council elected the deputy mayor at the start of each three-year term and they generally followed the longestablished convention of electing the highest-polling councillor to that position.
Thus Cr Jim Fenton was elected deputy mayor for the 1983-86 term and Cr Mark Winter, who was the top-polling councillor, replaced him as deputy mayor for 1986-92.
In 1989, following local government reorganisation, the members of the Invercargill District Council were elected in wards so there was no city-wide election and thus no highest-polling councillor. The councillors elected Cr Bruce Pagan as deputy mayor – Bruce had previously been the mayor of Bluff.
In 1992 the councillors elected Cr Dougal Soper as deputy mayor. MR Shadbolt should understand that Mr Boniface is the deputy mayor – not ‘‘my deputy’’, as he keeps on repeating. There is a difference. ‘‘Every term you should sack your deputy’’ was his quote on TV One.
The fact is that he cannot and never could have.
The deputy mayor is appointed by the council, not by the mayor.
This is clearly spelled out in the Local Government Act. If the council decides it wants to replace the deputy mayor, then it can on a majority vote but there are conditions requiring proper notification and a period of 21 days before any action can be taken.
The mayor has no more authority than any other council member in the appointment or removal of the deputy mayor. INVERCARGILL City Council should have a new deputy, and the only choice for this job is the people’s choice Cr Darren Ludlow.
Interestingly our previous mayors, before our present mayor, were always happy to accept the city’s long-held convention of democracy deciding who would be deputy.
Also interesting in previous times to the present, the deputy was not paid extra to do the job. Instead, he/she was rewarded by being offered the chairmanship of a committee of their choice.
Special payment was not required in the past, as mayors we respected such as Eve Poole and Dave Harrington were happy to be