New Councillor Blocked by CEO

“The previous Council’s amendments to KCDC meeting rules have effectively blocked any chance to bring transparency and fairness to the Council table,” says new district wide Councillor, Jackie Elliott.

“The CEO’s interpretation of amendments to clause 3.9.15 of the standing orders have meant four notices of motion I have tried to put on the table for discussion at meetings have been unable to meet criteria because they require four supporting signatures to even get the item on the agenda.

“The Mayor is now running the least transparent and democratic Council in New Zealand.”

Cr Elliott said when she tested the new mayor’s ability to ‘change’ as promised to the public of Kāpiti just weeks ago she asked him to support a notice of motion to revise the clause back to one or two signatures. “He declined, saying it would waste the Council’s meeting time to discuss what he calls unnecessary matters.”

However Cr Elliott, maintains she wasn’t standing for election on a ticket, and is not standing on one now. “Each elected individual has a right to raise public concerns for discussion. It is what we were elected to do.”

Cr Elliott says the CEO’s interpretation of the clauses in standing orders is also dubious. “He first said the four signature policy applied only to amendments of the standing orders. Now he says it is to be applied to any resolutions and any decisions by the previous Council.

The CEO has also said that 75% of the table must be in favour of a motion to be successful. “While this applies to amendments to the model standing orders I am now being told it applies to any previous decision. Where is the democracy in that. I challenge the Mayor to explain to the public what is democratic about two people at the table outweighing the wishes of the other 9 if they so chose.”

Cr Elliott says other Councillors have not run into this brick wall yet as they haven’t attempted to bring anything to the table. “In the rush to shut down open and transparent debate the Mayor and CEO are blundering. An example of this was made last week when the Mayor shut down a public speaker, Dale Evans, saying he was in breach of standing orders. It is staggering that the Mayor does not know standing orders apply to elected members and staff only, not the public.

“Mr Evans, who was critiquing the performance of the CEO, deserves an apology from the Mayor and meeting Chair for the way he was spoken to in the meeting. Sounding a lot like the previous Mayor the new Mayor stated he alone was accountable for the actions of the CEO.”