Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris
This week we released a report on project failings at Greerton, Matua and the Mount.
Now I don’t look kindly on councillors hanging employees out to dry. It’s a politically cheap move played by some of our nation’s least effective politicians. The reason? It’s easier to blame paid staff, who can’t fight back, for a councillor’s lack of leadership.
That said, there are times when a genuine failure occurs at staff level, and how the elected council deals with it is a matter of some delicacy. Under the Local Government Act we have only one employee, the chief executive, that employs all the others. It’s he/she alone that we hold to account on your behalf.
When a failure occurs, the easy route would be to blame the staff involved; however, to publicly castigate someone would invite a ‘personal grievance’ which would be paid for by you, the ratepayer. So, it’s better for councillors to take the community’s wrath than deflecting the blame.
Last year we employed a new Chief Executive, and there’ve been significant changes at senior manager level as a result. Reviews have occurred and we’re demanding employment consequences. Changes to the building department will restore public confidence. The way council does consultation and projects will change for the better. So much has been going on behind the scenes and my hope is that we end this 2016-19 triennium having made some tough decisions that’ll enable the next council to sail smoothly.