Open Letter from Kāpiti Crs Scott and Elliott

KCDC Councillors David Scott and Jackie Elliott would like to reassure the Kāpiti public that we played no part whatsoever in the re employment of KCDC Chief Executive Pat Dougherty for a further five years.

We dispute the Mayor’s media statement which starts with the words, “Council has reappointed Pat Dougherty.”

We did not take part in his selection. We would like the public to know we had no opportunity to take part given the Mayor’s last minute bringing forward of the selection meeting, held under extraordinary special meeting conditions at the office of a private recruitment company in Wellington at an unspecified time and one day’s notice. This will be challenged as a breach of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act or LGOIMA.

This meeting occurred while Cr Elliott was on her first leave of absence since being elected in October 2013. She says “the last minute change of the meeting date to select a candidate while I was on leave completely thwarted my stated intention to fully represent the people of Kāpiti by voting for the next CE. This, I considered to be one of the most important decisions I make in this triennium.

“I intended to take part fully despite repeatedly being threatened by the Mayor and KCDC legal Counsel Tim Power of legal action against me personally if I voted against the incumbent CE.”

Newly elected Waikanae Ward Councillor Cr Michael Scott was on leave of absence and did not take part in this important decision.

Since his election, Cr David Scott has expressed the need to look at the CE employment process and reassess the high level of salaries paid nationally and voted accordingly.

The Mayor has said “Pat needed to be the glue among all this change because he has so much institutional knowledge.”

It is arguable that throughout seven years of KCDC entering unquestionably murky waters and lurching from disaster to disaster, that despite many changes in Councillors, Mayors, staff and Community Board Members, the only constant has been the presence of the same CE attempting to steer the boat.

Written by Jackie Elliott and David Scott