CODC set to reduce its size by two
Central Otago District Council is supporting an advisory panel recommendation to reduce the number of councillors from 10 to eight plus the mayor, and that elections be conducted at large.
The recommendation also favoured retaining the district's four community boards, Cromwell, Vincent, Maniototo and Roxburgh, renamed Teviot Valley, to comprise six members each, four elected within the community and two councillors.
At yesterday's council meeting in Alexandra, the move was strenuously opposed by Cromwell Community Board member Cr Gordon Stewart who said he would be staging a campaign on the grounds there was nothing wrong with the current representation system, and that it would increase councillors' work load.
"I'm surprised members would want to take on more responsibility. I think you've got it quite wrong. There's nothing wrong with the way it is," he told members.
Particular reference was made to Cr John Lane, of Roxburgh, and Cr Terry Emmitt, of Cromwell, whose positions could be at most risk if district-wide voting came in, and whose skills could be lost on the council's typically weighty hearings panel. Cr Emmitt also voted against the proposal, saying the current 10-strong council was "a good mix".
Cromwell Community Board chairman Cr Neil Gillespie, although not in favour of losing colleagues, said he saw the move as a chance to gauge what the public really wanted: ". . .because it isn't about us . . . I want to give people the chance to tell us if we've got it right because we haven't received enough feedback on the issue."
Cr Gillespie was referring to the 1 per cent response on which the representation review advisory panel had based its recommendation to change the way councils were elected.
The public would now have a month to make submissions and if the recommendation became a reality, the new regime would come into effect for the 2013 triennial election.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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