Bunfight distasteful to Bradley
Robust discussion in the council chamber: yes. Slagging the mayor off in public: no.
Former district councillor John Bradley is taking Timaru district councillors to task over comments some have made regarding the council's decision to do away with the ward system, and instead elect 10 councillors "at large" at next year's election.
Councillors voted 6-5 to go with the "at large" option last week, a decision Mayor Janie Annear and some long-serving councillors have slammed.
But it was first-term councillor Steve Earnshaw's comment on his Facebook page, accusing Mrs Annear of failing to represent the best interests of the whole district, which really annoyed Mr Bradley.
He was a councillor for the Timaru ward from 2007-10 and stood unsuccessfully at the last election. Mr Bradley is all in favour of healthy debate in the council chamber but felt Cr Earnshaw's disparaging comments about Mrs Annear were unacceptable. "I have heaps of respect for her and what she has done . . . she is never going to please everyone all the time," Mr Bradley said.
"To me, the dignity, respect and humility which you should have as a councillor seems to have gone out of the door", with councillor self-importance coming to the fore.
He found that distasteful.
He said what had happened in recent days was disruptive and unconducive to a strong, effective council moving forward in the best interest of the community.
"I really strongly feel that the dignity, respect and humility that one should operate from as an elected councillor isn't coming across.
"The comments you [Timaru Herald] are getting from the public at random . . . [suggests] the decision that was taken really was not correct and not the best one from the point of view of most of the public.
"Councillors are there to do a job, to make decisions and sometimes they are not popular decisions, but you have to have the ability to understand and make the right decision, [for the right reason] and not for personal glory." Had he been on council, Mr Bradley said he would have voted to retain the wards.
"I feel that is where people need to be represented because otherwise it becomes a situation where a lot of these areas don't get a true and accurate representation."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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