Waimate council replaces its chief

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014
tony alden
Waimate CEO Tony Alden

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Waimate District Council's embattled chief executive Tony Alden will be out of a job in August.

Mayor Craig Rowley thanked Alden for his seven years of service yesterday, but said the appointment of Bede Carran as chief executive was a way of moving forward.

"Mr Carran has extensive local government and commercial experience. It just came down to the fact he provided a different set of skills which will move us forward," Rowley said.

Carran is currently the finance and corporate services manager for Southland District Council.

"We need to make it clear this was a statutory review of the position. We wish to move forward with a different skill base. Tony's been here for seven years, and he did an outstanding job," Rowley said.

There were 30 applicants for the position, which was advertised on January 15. Alden was one of the six shortlisted candidates interviewed by a council-appointed committee.

The interviews took place on April 15 and 16. Rowley said the council would confirm the appointment at a special meeting on May 20. Carran will take over the reins on August 1.

"Until then, it is business as usual for Tony," Rowley said.

He said Alden's involvement in the Keith Williams building saga had no bearing on his failure to be reappointed.

Alden was at the centre of a long-standing building consent dispute, with the council having to pay almost $150,000 in legal costs to Williams, a Waimate businessman.

Williams and his company were each charged with failing to apply for a certificate of acceptance and failing to comply with a notice to fix after he carried out "urgent" work on his garage, but Judge Joanna Maze ruled Alden did not have the delegated authority to lay charges.

Williams was awarded $80,000 costs in June last year by the Timaru District Court and, following a High Court appeal, a further $66,300 in November.

In December, the councillors declined a request to increase Alden's annual salary by 2 per cent, to $149,228.

"Our decision to decline a pay increase was not to do with his performance [as chief executive] but the fact the position was coming up for statutory review," Rowley said.

Alden could not be reached for comment.

Rowley said Carran would visit the council chambers before assuming his role. "It will be a matter of Mr Carran coming in and seeing where he can make improvements. This is an exciting appointment for the council."

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- The Timaru Herald

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