Church hits back at corner dairy…..

Corporate Services Committee Chair Ross Church responds to criticism by fellow Kāpiti councillor K Gurunathan.

Councillor Gurunathan, in his pathetic missive (March 7, Kāpiti News) ” Notes from a Corner Dairy” (perhaps that’s where his true future lies) is inaccurate, thoughtless, gutless and deceitful. Inaccurate, because there was never any attempt to gag anyone. Thoughtless, because he is extremely disparaging about his fellow elected representatives without checking his facts first (but then, when did Gurunathan ever let the facts get in the way of a good story?). Gutless, because he doesn’t have the balls to name me as the one he’s aiming this barb at. Deceitful, because he knows that what he has written is not accurate, and he knew that long before he put pen to paper.

The facts are simple (though, unsurprisingly, Gurunathan seems to have trouble with them). The Long Term Plan workshops are for council staff to brief councillors on all issues facing the community, so that councillors can then release the information to the public for the public consultation process. The public are welcome along to listen at the workshops . This is not the stage for public input. That would delay the process, and be putting the cart before the horse. As Chair, I have to make sure the process ensures that the documents are produced for the public in a timely fashion. Public consultation then rightfully takes place with everyone having the same opportunity of input using the same documents.

However, previous Chairs have allowed Betty van Gaalen to speak throughout these workshops. I have continued that practice. (I must point out at this point that I have nothing but huge respect for the tireless work that Betty has put into our community).

However, recently I have been admonished by several people and parties, saying that the practice of allowing Betty and Grey Power to speak so frequently gives them undue influence over the process, before its public release. Whether you accept that or not, that is the perception. So, I had a quiet word with Betty (and 2 independent people) to see if there was another way we could gather her input. We agreed that we didn’t want the perception of Grey Power bias to continue, and we agreed to gather Betty’s (and Grey Powers) input in different ways. Trying to find a way to make things fair? Yes. Gagging? No.

Gurunathan seems to be having huge difficulty deciding if he is a Councillor or a reporter. Personally I think he should find a third option. As a reporter he is inaccurate and inept. As a Councillor he is, at best, inconsistent. Given his ability to flip-flop on all issues, perhaps he should sell jandals from his corner dairy. He has voted twice for water meters. What’s the bet he next votes against them. Not in the interests of good decision making. In the interest of self promotion perhaps? Run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. Whose intelligence is in question here? Have another bob each way Guru.