Challenges to mayor's nominees

HAMISH FRASER: Will see out his term as district services committee chairman.
HAMISH FRASER: Will see out his term as district services committee chairman.

It was not all plain sailing for Timaru Mayor Janie Annear when she nominated councillors for positions at yesterday's council meeting - only to have councillors come up with their own nominees.

Mrs Annear put up nominations for positions previously held by deputy mayor Michael Oliver, who died suddenly in August.

It was when she nominated new deputy mayor Richard Lyon as district services committee chairman that she had a problem.

Her nomination was an "insult" to deputy chairman Hamish Fraser who might have been "young and inexperienced, but had been thrown into the role", Cr Terry Kennedy said, nominating him. "He should carry on to September."

Cr Fraser had done a lot of work to get up to speed with the role, said Cr Steve Earnshaw, and he had no doubt he would do an excellent job.

Mrs Annear said she had not thought Cr Fraser had enough time for the role (which included meetings in Christchurch) as he had "missed quite a lot of meetings and workshops".

She wanted to retain two chairmen from both urban and rural areas, she said, referring to Cr Lyon's experience and understanding of roading, especially rural roading. He also had time to put into the role, she said.

Cr Pat Mulvey supported Cr Lyon, as he had a "wealth of experience" and there was some "intricate work" going on with the Regional Land Transport Committee.

"Complete dedication is essential. We need someone there with experience because it is high-powered. The lifeblood of the district is roading."

"How are people going to learn if the same old faces are rolling up to do the jobs?" Cr Kennedy asked. "I believe the jobs should be shared out. We have got to get away from under your (Mayor Annear's) reign and that of your predecessor, of town and country, we need to get over that."

"I have not been asked by you what I can do," Cr Fraser told Mrs Annear. " I would have thought I would have been asked whether I could rearrange my life around this."

Cr Jane Coughlan said she felt it was behoven on councillors to let Cr Fraser see out the term as it was part of the role he had accepted.

Cr Fraser won the nomination convincingly.

Mrs Annear nominated Cr Damon Odey as a director for Aoraki Development Business and Tourism, but Cr Earnshaw felt it was not optimal to have the same person chairing the community development committee which ADBT reports to, and being a director. He nominated Cr Tracy Tierney, suggesting that if she was a director ADBT would have the support of two councillors with strong business backgrounds. Cr Odey won the nomination.

The Timaru Herald