Board work together

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 22:41 18/07/2012

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Outspoken Bluff Community Board member Brent Procter has not been censured for calling a member of the public the c word in a blog, the town’s community board chairwoman said tonight.

The board held an extraordinary meeting in the port town tonight to swear in new board member Graham Laidlaw and allow the warring board members to have mediation talks, air working relationships and discuss the code of conduct complaints laid against Mr Procter after he called Bluff resident Kylie Fowler the c-word in a blog.

Several members of the public had laid code of conduct complaints against Mr Procter following his comments about Ms Fowler.

Following the swearing in of Mr Laidlaw the board kicked out the public and media and discussed the other issues, including the complaints against Mr Procter, behind closed doors.

When the meeting was over board chairwoman Jan Mitchell said Mr Procter had not been censured.

‘‘There was no motion of censure,’’ Mrs Mitchell said.

She declined to comment further on the Procter issue, but added the board members had unanimously agreed at the meeting to work collaboratively and with decorum in the best interests of the Bluff ratepayers.

The board received mediation at the meeting from Local Government New Zealand bosses and advice from city solicitor Warwick Cambridge, she said.

Also at the meeting were Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and city council chief executive Richard King.

Earlier in the meeting, a bid by board member Charlie Te Au, who is the partner of Kylie Fowler, to get the code of conduct and mediation talks held in public was out-voted by his fellow board members, who wanted the talks to be behind closed doors.

Mr Te Au had argued in vain that the public had laid the code of conduct complaints so the public should be able to hear what was being said at the meeting.

A bid by Mr Te Au to have the Bluff Community Board’s annual grant to Bluff Promotions changed from a conditional grant to an unconditional grant was also outvoted by his fellow board members at the meeting.

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- The Southland Times

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