We cannot afford to lose this man

Witt's Richard Handley has not had his contract extended.
Witt's Richard Handley has not had his contract extended.

Perhaps Witt Council chair Mary Bourke could explain her statement more carefully to the Taranaki community, that ''as prudent governors of a public institution to assure themselves that they have the best person for the position in an environment that has changed considerably since Richard's appointment in 2008 - and continues to change . . . the decision to not extend Mr Handley's contract was a sensible one that any other responsible organisation would follow in dealing with fixed-term contracts''.

Her words - prudent, assure, best person for the position, sensible, responsible organisation, changed environment and dealing with - highlight a gobsmacking and arrogant decision of the Witt Council to not renew Mr Handley's contract, and instead invite him to reapply for his position.

Taranaki can ill-afford to lose a skilled leader who has proven through dint of effort, ability and respect that he can not only pull together a financially compromised institution, but also unite demoralised, disaffected staff, engage full community support, and win national acclaim for the institution.

Please explain, Ms Bourke, how prudent, assured of the best person, sensible and responsible your council is when dealing with staff, customers and community who, inspired by Mr Handley's vision and leadership, continue to loyally support and underpin Witt.

HILARY BENNETT

New Plymouth

Taranaki Daily News