Council pick not decided on capital

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2012

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The Englishman offered the role of Wellington City Council's new chief executive is yet to decide whether to make the move down under.

Kevin Lavery, who is now chief executive of Cornwall Council, released a statement to colleagues confirming he had been offered the post, but said he had not yet decided whether to take it.

Wellington City councillors spent three hours debating the appointment of Dr Lavery from four contenders last week.

Long-term incumbent Garry Poole applied for the job but The Dominion Post understands he lost in a 9-6 vote to Dr Lavery, who will receive a salary of $420,000.

A Wellington City Council spokesman could not confirm whether the council paid for Dr Lavery's interview trip, or whether his relocation costs would be paid if he took the job.

Employment negotiations with Mr Lavery continued, he said.

In his statement, Dr Lavery said he would be spending the next few days considering the Wellington offer and discussing it with his family. He hoped to make an announcement early this week.

"I have enjoyed my time as the chief executive of Cornwall Council and will be sorry to leave the authority and Cornwall," he said.

The news came as a surprise to many of his Cornwall colleagues. Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alex Folkes told British media Mr Lavery had done a "huge amount for the people of Cornwall".

"It's a job that's half done. There is still so much to do when the council is facing so many challenges."

Cornwall councillor Lance Kennedy told The Dominion Post it had been a pleasure and privilege to work with Mr Lavery, who was an "intelligent, forward-thinking and personable CEO".

He credited him with helping Cornwall Council avoid the worst effects of the recession, far better than many other authorities.

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- The Dominion Post

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