Council to decide on voting rights

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 15:31 08/05/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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One of Kapiti Coast District Council's toughest critics could rely on its votes to stay on as an Electra trustee.

Kapiti Coast District Council will decide at its corporate business committee meeting on Thursday whether to cast its 241 votes in upcoming Electra trustee elections.

A report to councillors by senior manager Bernie Goedhart said if the council exercises its voting rights, it could debate and select which candidates it supports publicly, or in a public excluded meeting.

"Council normally debates individual appointments to committees and boards in publicly excluded meetings, allowing elected members to be free and frank during debate."

Mr Turver, a critic of council decisions including proposed water metering, is chasing re-election to the Electra community trust in 2012.

Mr Goedhart said if the council chooses to vote then it could invite candidates to speak to the council - letting councillors make an informed decision on who to support.

Mr Turver and Ray Latham are the board members standing as part of an annual process that sees the two longest serving trustees either retire or seek re-election.

The Electra community trust owns Electra, the regional company charged with maintaining Kapiti and Horowhenua's powerlines.

The trust is responsible for appointing company directors and ensuring surplus earnings are paid out as an annual discount to power account holders in the two districts.

Mr Goedhart said that with a number of facilities connected to the Electra network, the council has gained 241 votes in trustee elections.

The council decision on who it will support could be made at the June 7 meeting, with trustee elections closing on June 14, he said.

Last year, councillors voted in a public-excluded meeting not to support any candidates.

It followed controversy in 2010 after mayor Jenny Rowan suggested some of the discount money could be diverted into a community fund to pay for civic projects in Kapiti and Horowhenua.

Ms Rowan floated the suggestion, and the idea of casting the votes backing a supportive trustee, during a public excluded session on the decision.

There are six board members, including Judy Keall, Ann Chapman, and Horowhenua's George Sue and Lindsay Burnell.

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