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Councillors called for Baldock’s removal as deputy

Councillor Larry Baldock resigned as deputy mayor on Tuesday. File image/SunLive.

Tauranga City councillor Larry Baldock shutting down debate in a council meeting and telling councillors to shut up during meetings prompted the call for him to be removed as deputy mayor.

Six Tauranga City councillors came together and sent a requisition letter asking for Baldock to be removed from his position, which resulted in his resignation earlier this week.

Councillors Andrew Hollis, John Robson, Kelvin Clout, Steve Morris, Dawn Kiddie and Bill Grainger sent a requisition letter to council chief executive officer Marty Grenfell on May 26.

The letter asked for a council meeting to be held on June 17 for the purpose that Baldock be removed as deputy mayor, and for a vote to be held to appoint a new one.

In Tuesday morning’s council meeting, Mayor Tenby Powell announced Baldock’s resignation and appointed Tina Salisbury deputy mayor.

Steve Morris says by appointing a deputy and foregoing the vote requested, Powell has usurped the democratic process.

Morris says the purpose of the letter is to enhance democracy at the council and to try and create more transparency in the mayoral office.

"The letter was signed first of all to enhance democracy because there’s been, unfortunately, an authoritative style leadership deployed.”

Morris says one of the reasons for putting the letter forward is because Baldock stopped debate about the Elizabeth Street upgrade in a council meeting on May 19.

He says in other meetings Baldock chaired, if there were topics the former deputy mayor disagreed with, they were shut down.

Morris says there have also been occasions where councillors have been told to shut up.

“The views of those elected by the people actually matter because we represent our communities and our communities’ views. So when we're not heard, the community is effectively shut out and that's not right.”

Grainger says by Baldock not allowing other councillors to have their say about the Elizabeth Street upgrade it is “democracy gone by the wayside and was not good at all”.

Clout says there has been a lack of leadership from the mayor and deputy.

“We've got 11 elected members and there was very little engagement from the mayor and as such Larry, the deputy mayor, has been the main interface.

“I don't feel that we've had a positive relationship with Larry. There hasn't been perhaps the free and frank discussions that we would normally like to have, with Larry often stifling some of those discussions.”

In a written statement Baldock says he strongly believes the mayor should be free to appoint a deputy that he has confidence in and can trust.

“The Local Government Act 2002 was amended in 2012 for that very reason, and to avoid situations which had occurred previously where mayors had to accept deputies appointed by the majority of councillors. 

“It was clear to me that the only way to restore that choice for the mayor was to be prepared to resign before the proposed council meeting on June 17 and therefore prevent what, in my view, would have been a damaging process for council and the city.”

He says that after the elections last October, he did not seek the position of deputy mayor, he was approached by several people urging him to consider it, in order to provide assistance to the newly-elected Tenby Powell, who had no previous local government or political experience.

The same six councillors who called for Baldock to be removed from the deputy mayor position also sent another requisition letter on Tuesday, requesting a meeting for the vote they originally asked for to elect a deputy mayor.

 

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15 Comments
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@Slim Shady

Posted on 08-06-2020 14:17 | By morepork

You hit the nail right on the head with your last sentence.

The vZs

Posted on 07-06-2020 17:55 | By

You must have missed that meeting where he threw a tantrum, swore at other Councillors and called people who disagreed with him “small minded. As for Baldock, he calls anyone who disagrees with him “those people”. Maybe you should pay more attention. It’s not “petty prejudice”. It’s called democracy and these people should show a bit more respect to people who they are supposed to represent. But they don’t because all they represent is themselves.

Do Any of you listen to Council??

Posted on 07-06-2020 02:21 | By The vZs

From the comments above I can only assume none of you have listended to any council meetings. I have listened to a reasonable amount of council and for anyone else who has you will be aware of the calm, democratic way our Mayor, Tenby Powell, handles the council meetings. All I hear is petty prejudice comments above him being ex-army and dictitorial. Just go to YouTube and search Tga Council and see for yourself! And as for Larry Baldock..., he and John Robson are the 2 that contribute most to council. Likewise, just watch some of the past meetings for yourself and then come back and post an informed comment!

This article is absolutely damning

Posted on 04-06-2020 08:42 | By nerak

with regard to what should be the two most powerful/stable seats in council. Baldock should be shown the door. Powell should follow, immediately. Council is no place for fools or dictators. Ratepayers require seats filled by people committed to the people they serve. It has been obvious for many months Powell is all about him/photo ops, not at all about doing the work he was elected to do (because he hasn’t a clue how). And that he is increasingly inept, and well out of his depth. We have to wonder(in light of how she suddenly became Deputy) if Salisbury is suitable material for the position, being new to council and if that needs a rethink. All ratepayers should write to Marty Grenfell to require him review Salisbury’s position, and to stand Powell down, and out. Worrying time for ratepayers. Commissioner time?

Long time ratepayer

Posted on 03-06-2020 20:30 | By

Mr Mayor and Mr Deputy Mayor, really need to go .All due respects dear Sirs. You just dont cut the mustard.

get rid

Posted on 03-06-2020 20:05 | By

Powell has to go too, i have said all along ex military, no good for that job dictatorial, trained that way they are not people persons.

Agreed

Posted on 03-06-2020 19:40 | By

This isn’t working or likely too.

We need a team that are with and for the people - not themselves

Posted on 03-06-2020 19:27 | By

Yep agree with the above comments. Powell and his crew need to go. We the people deserve much more than their dictatorship ways and with little clue or interest in the average household wage let alone those earning below it and while they give each other pay rises, we can’t even cross a busy road safely due to speeding traffic, no speed camera, not enough police and no sign of any crossings or pedestrian refuges to keep us safer out in our busy, thriving communities. Payrises for high earners, or crossings, speed reductions and speed cameras? I know what I want to see more of around Andrew Hollis, John Robson, Kelvin Clout, Steve Morris, Dawn Kiddie and Bill Grainger for having some real guts to continually stand up for the rights of our beautiful but growing, busy, wider community.

Sorry Mayor Greg Brownless

Posted on 03-06-2020 18:33 | By waiknot

The city voted for change, we never realised that’s what you were quietly achieving. A councillor from last term told me, The Mayor was to quick to say the buck stoped with him, and too slow in sharing what he had achieved.

Something Smells For Sure

Posted on 03-06-2020 17:48 | By

if Andrew Hollis is involved. Mayor Tenby Powell is quite within his rights to pick his deputy and we all knew his military background and military leadership when we voted for him and knew he had a very minimal understanding of politics. It doesn’t matter who is at the helm, there is going to be mistakes, there’s going to be upsets, there’ll be stinks and arguments and there’ll be some great stuff too. Mayor Tenby is working along side other mayors so will pick up new skills, new ideas. We, me included, need to stop looking for all the nits and give our Mayor a chance. It’s still very early days to find a fit all cure.

TCC need a Commissioner

Posted on 03-06-2020 15:50 | By Really

Spendy Powell and his bunch of councilors are going to destroy Tauranga they way they have been going. It is at the stage where an independent commissioner needs to come in and cull this lot.

Something Smells.

Posted on 03-06-2020 15:50 | By Maryfaith

Steve Morris is correct when he says "by appointing a deputy and foregoing the vote requested, Powell has usurped the democratic process". This will have to be challenged! As things stand now, we have a ’newbie’ Mayor who, through personal favouritism has selected a complete ’newbie’ to the position of deputy mayor. Something smells here! We need an experienced hand at the helm to lead the ’sinking’ ship away from rock bottom! Unfortunately Powell has not come up to expectations following promises given prior to the election. A new election should be called for!

Unite a Divided Council

Posted on 03-06-2020 15:28 | By gincat

The mayor’s election spiel, unite a divded council. So how’s that working out?

Just go

Posted on 03-06-2020 14:57 | By

Powell and Baldock need to be gone burger altogether. They care only about themselves, their profile and strutting about like little dictators. They have no respect for democracy, ratepayers or due process. It’s good to see some Councillors standing up to them. Keep it up until they are gone.

Not surprised

Posted on 03-06-2020 14:51 | By

So when Baldock ran the slogan “less bureaucracy, more democracy”, what he meant was “shut up and do as I say”. What a piece of work. Same as Powell. Can they write another letter and remove Powell?