! 5 DEC- MINUTES OF AN EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE INVERCARGILLJ^fg HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, FIRST FLOOR, CIVIC ADMINISTRA' BUILDING, 101 ESK STREET, INVERCARGILL ON MONDAY 7 DECEMBER 2009 AT 4.00 PM PRESENT: His Worship the Mayor Mr T R Shadbolt JP Cr N D Boniface - Deputy Mayor Cr R L Abbott CrT J Buck Cr AG Dennis Cr N J Elder CrTWHarpur Cr P W Kett Cr J Kruger Cr D J Ludlow Cr G T Piercy Cr G J Sycamore Cr L S Thomas IN ATTENDANCE: Mr A B Ballinger- Director of Works and Services Mr D J Johnston - Director of Finance and Corporate Services Mr B W Watt - Director of Environmental and Planning Services Mr J Salter - Lawyer from Simpson Grierson Solicitors Mr W Cambridge - City Solicitor Ms L Kuresa - Committee Secretary 1 APOLOGIES Nil. 2. TO REVIEW AND MAKE CHANGES TO COUNCIL DIRECTORSHIPS AND CHAIRMANSHIPS His Worship tabled his report and took the Meeting through it. His remarks included: > This again is going to be tough. It's looking at restructuring. > I know a lot of people don't like us discussing difficult issues in public, but that's part of a democratic process. > We got a lot of good publicity over the Ranfurly Shield and sporting events held in the city and we get a lot of positive publicity from the public. > There is a flip side to having a high profile and that is, when you have problems, you get bad publicity. > If you look at the dog issue for example, it didn't make the city look good. > Once upon a time nobody worried who the Deputy Mayor of Invercargill was and now it creates a national controversy when we want to change our Deputy Mayor. In a way it's a compliment. > One of the problems facing this Council is that, it's almost like there's two teams. > There's been talk about team work today and it seems to me like there's the "haves" and the "have nots". > There are those who become Directors and those who don't and it seems to create a tension within Council. > Perhaps that is the root of what has happened to myself and the Deputy Mayor. > I have looked at some radical restructuring in looking forward to the future. > We can't bring it in this term, but at least it gives you notice for next year as to how I'm feeling and what direction you should move in. > I hope these barriers will break down those divisions. > I am putting forward this proposal for discussion. Cr Piercy's remarks included: > I would like to know, why, after several years as the Works and Services Chairman, what I have done to be replaced when I still have 10 months to go. > I have a couple of very huge contracts to look at. > Is it because I have aged, an inability issue or is this pay back, because I am convinced it is. > Works and Services has not got a problem and have never had a problem. His Worship said Cr Piercy was in yesterday's Otago Daily Times, saying "this Council is rotten to the core" and now he was saying that Council did not have a problem. He said if this Council was rotten to the core, then Council needed to do something about it. Moved His Worship, seconded Cr Abbott that the changes set out in the Mayor's report take place within Council in terms of restructuring. Cr Dennis's remarks included: > Two or three weeks ago there wasn't a problem and all of a sudden the people you relied upon, trusted and appointed from this group here as senior Councillors with great knowledge of the way Council works, have caught leprosy. > They are doing extraordinary in their positions. > I am not against change. If you really want to make some changes and make some differences wait until after the next elections. > Wait and see what the public says, but I am not in favour of completely flat lining management. > Someone has to make decisions and be responsible for them and these gentlemen that I sit close to here, have done extremely well and often in difficult circumstances. In response to a question from His Worship as to why Cr Piercy said that Council was rotten, Cr Piercy said he did not say that. Cr Boniface said that Cr Piercy said the issue between himself and His Worship was rotten. Cr Piercy said once again, His Worship had stretched the truth. He said he did not make comments about his fellow Councillors being rotten. He said he had a lot of respect for His Worship, but it was rapidly diminishing. His Worship said he felt that Council did have some problems that needed to be addressed. He said the issue arose after discussions with Councillors. He said Councillors had indicated in those discussions that Council had a problem and how they wanted to resolve those problems. He said one of the problems was after talking on a one-to-one basis with all the Councillors, it emerged from the discussions with the Councillors that those who had no Directorates were unhappy and those who had Directorates were very happy about the situation and did not want any change. He said it seemed there were "haves" and "have nots" on Council and he wanted to change it. Discussion included: Cr Buck: > I disagree with what you said Your Worship. I have nothing, never had nothing and have never been happier to work for the people of Invercargill. You are telling fibs again, because you didn't ask me those questions. I told you exactly how I feel that I thought the whole meeting was "crap". I didn't even know what I was doing there. I didn't ask for anything and I don't want anything. I am happy with what I have and I have more people ringing me than probably you. I don't want to be a Director and money doesn't mean anything to me. Whether we have money or no money, we all meet the same fate. Cr Kruger: > I like the motion around Cr Thomas being the Chairman of Works and Services. It's my understanding that Cr Piercy has been in the role for 12 years and he knows the ropes inside out. He has signalled that he would be leaving Council at the end of this term. When we were elected and we had our first round of meetings, I put up my hand up and said that I was keen to chair Works and Services if I was put on that Committee. With Cr Piercy knowing so much and being skilled in the role, it is not good having all the information in one person's head and then they leave after 12 years of history. No one will be left to carry that legacy. It would be an intelligent thing for Council to put someone of Cr Thomas's interest under the tutor ledge of Cr Piercy. It's a grand idea because Council would be in a better position to run Council. Cr Piercy: > I only took over after one term and I didn't get much training. I have been training my team and anybody on the Works and Services Committee can take over from me. There is a time for that and that time is at the end of the term not now. Cr Elder asked Mr Cambridge for understanding on the Constitutions of those companies set out in the Mayor's report and what would happen if there was no Council representation on them. Mr Cambridge advised Council of the Constitution of Invercargill City Holdings Limited as requested by Cr Elder. Further discussion included: Cr Abbott: > I am a "have not" and I am a "want not". I thought that the Mayoral report that I read is an indicator pre-election 2010, post election 2010, but it would be a brave thing to do. I can see where some of my Councillor colleagues are coming from and it could look bad. I think that Cr Kruger's conclusion is good, responsibility might be an answer to that. We should get on with the job and share the responsibility and create harmony ground status. I see this as a direct proposal and a way of doing so. With two "watchdogs" on Invercargill City Holdings Limited that's our own company, thereafter, give the people of Invercargill who have great skills the opportunity to be directors of their company, not our company. We must remember why we are here, to look after their interests. Cr Thomas: > I seem to be the meat in the sandwich in this, because I have been put down as a proposed Chairman of Works and Services. It would be an honour to accept, because I have got something to offer Works and Services, but in saying that, I do lose the position that I hold dearly as well, which is Invercargill City Holdings Limited. I just want the public and the media to know that I didn't chase this job, because sometimes when we do end up in the back room to talk over things, there is accusation that jobs have been chased. His Worship has made this choice. His Worship said the proposal was not for implementation immediately and he was not looking for a decision today. He apologised for not giving out the information earlier for Councillors to read and it served notice for the future changes that he would like to see. Further discussion included: Cr Kett: > With the changes in Invercargill City Holdings Limited of taking Cr Thomas away from that Board, I feel it is unwise at this stage. At this present time Invercargill City Holdings Limited is having discussions on outside interests and great opportunities in which Invercargill City Council would greatly benefit from. It is not wise to reduce our representation on Invercargill City Holdings Limited. Cr Ludlow: > I am a little confused, because if this recommendation is a general indication of what you would like to see after the 2010 elections, why are there names next to it. There is no guarantee that the people indicated here will be re-elected. His Worship the Mayor: > I am sorry there is uncertainty, but I am looking forward to the future. Cr Sycamore: > You were earlier very critical of Mr King in drinking with colleagues, staff and a Councillor in the office in work time. It's rather coincidental or strange that you now want to promote this Councillor to a Chairman. Note: His Worship and Cr Harpur said it was out of order and called for right of reply. Cr Thomas's remarks included: > Since everybody knows the circumstances surrounding Mr King's accident, I will now give a public statement. > At approximately 4.10 pm on the Friday, I called into Council to get a ticket for the rugby match that was spare, for the game that was on that night. > When I walked into the office, Mr King asked me to go in and meet a Chief Executive Officer from another council. > I went in and they were having a drink. Mr King asked if I would like a glass of wine. > I had two glasses of wine and left at 5.40 pm after two glasses of wine. > If you really want to get the low down, some Councillors around this table have to think about the habits that have been going on within this Council. Cr Boniface's remarks included: > I agree with some of the things that you have in your report and I agree with Cr Harpur that it's important we don't do the same thing that is done every term. > There are policies in place and there are Constitutions in place, and there should be good rationale for any decisions made. > For example Best Practise Guidelines, we've all been given a copy of this. It's your number one company that owns all the Council assets, which your Holding Company should have a majority of Councillors on. > That is best practise and that is what Christchurch does, Dunedin does and what other councils do, but you must have a majority of Councillors on it. > It is the proper guidelines to use, so three people should be qualified Director for the Holding Company. > There should also be a proper policy in place to put people forward for positions who have the knowledge and skills for those positions. > I understand there is a policy coming through Invercargill City Holdings Limited to do that. > A Councillor shouldn't be on any company unless they have the knowledge and the skills to be on that company and that's why I agree with some of the changes that you've suggested Your Worship. > Cr Piercy has been an excellent Chairman of Works and Services and in my observation there has not been any problem with the way the Committee structure has worked. > Some Councillors have raised it with me and I think there should be a Governance Workshop because it's no good having it after the elections. > I agree with you Your Worship, we should be thinking about what is the best methodology of Committee structure. How many Committees we should have and whether we should have no Committees at all and just meet twice a month. > There are methods and the Committee structures that offer a lot of good points, because you end up debating the issues at a Committee level. In some ways the old and tried systems work, but I think we need to debate it. > Cr Harpur has raised it, but we can't have a Governance Workshop unless Councillors were properly notified and we agree to have it. > This subject should be put on hold and we discuss this issue. It is very unfair if you get six new Councillors at the next election, they don't have a clue on what happened previously. It is a good idea if we do sit around, discuss and work through some of these issues. > There obviously are some issues that Councillors have about the way we operate. That is what we are here to do, to look after the governance and the Council staff are here to look after management and they have a structure in place that's worked well. X > I am happy to give notice of a motion to have a workshop early next year to discuss some of these issues, lay our cards on the table and work through them in a democratic way. Moved Cr Boniface, seconded Cr Piercy that the proposal be deferred to a Workshop for further discussion. Cr Elder asked for clarification on the motion. His Worship said it was a proposal accepting that it could not be put in place. He said that was unusual, because of constitutional issues, but it was put up there for discussion purposes. He said the idea of having a workshop following on from this was a good one and if that was an amendment he accepted it, if the seconder agreed with that. Cr Dennis said there were discussions by some people with regard to having a workshop within the last three weeks. He said His Worship was not here and it was unfair to have a workshop without the Mayor. He said he was in favour of having a Governance Workshop, but the names needed to be taken out as set out in the report. He said Councillors should look at structure with regard to the way His Worship would like to see the future Council operating. He said one thing that could be done was a job description between the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor so that things were specified and things did not get as far as it did today. He said that would create a clear understanding between the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. His Worship said he always accepted the democratic decisions of Council and Council had decided that Cr Boniface would be his Deputy Mayor and he will be his Deputy Mayor. He said that was the end of it. He said Council had gone through the process and followed correct procedures; he had a grievance, which had been well aired and that was the end of the matter. He said it was back to work. His Worship thanked all Councillors for helping him to work through the issue. The motion now being put was RESOLVED in the affirmative with amendment. There being no further business the meeting closed at 4.31 pm.
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