Napier Mayor Bill Dalton so sick of social media 'vitriol' he says he might move elsewhere

Napier mayor Bill Dalton, left, wants his councillors to keep current chief executive Wayne Jack, right.
NAPIER CITY COUNCIL

Napier mayor Bill Dalton, left, wants his councillors to keep current chief executive Wayne Jack, right.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton has warned councillors his council could be the first to be destroyed by social media.

In an extraordinary email, he also tells councillors they need to support the current chief executive officer, Wayne Jack, who is re-applying for his position - a move that an employment expert says could mean Dalton has shown a bias and can play no role in selecting who fills the position.

The email, obtained by Stuff, was sent to the 12 councillors shortly after 6pm on Thursday, and begins by saying in capital letters: "This in strict confidence".

Some Napier residents have taken to social media to express their opinions about Napier City Council and Chief Executive ...

Some Napier residents have taken to social media to express their opinions about Napier City Council and Chief Executive Wayne Jack.

He takes issue with criticism of Jack, saying he and wife Shirley have been "frankly disgusted with the vitriolic attacks Wayne is being subjected to by the people of Napier". 

READ MORE:
Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack given $29k pay rise
Council staff furious at ceo's 11 per cent rise when they were offered just 17 per cent
Napier City Council accused of making 'ham-fisted' job of staff restructure
Independent review needed of Napier's animal control practices says watchdog

"It has soured us to the extent we are seriously considering other locations for our full retirement," he said.

Jack took up the position in 2013. His term lapsed recently and the position was advertised, with applications closing on Friday.

Dalton told his councillors the recruitment agency had received a number of applications and he did not want to lose Jack, who he believed might seek higher pay elsewhere.

"All of this is in a climate of bullying by a small minority of Napier citizens on social media. You will not be surprised to know that Wayne is feeling the pressure. His wife Tracy is struggling," he said.

Dalton said the council's senior leaders were totally supportive of Jack. "However, some of them are showing signs of bitterness and may leave" too. 

Ad Feedback

"As councillors I believe we need to stand by our man. We need to be out in the community telling people about our successes and acknowledging the role Wayne and his rejuvenated team have played in those successes," he said.

They had the chance to be a very successful council but "we also have the chance of being the first council to be destroyed by ill-informed social media".

"The purpose of this letter is to ask you all to show support to your chief executive. To ask people you know to publicly, through social media and the newspapers, to acknowledge the progress we are making as a council. At this stage the negative team are winning the game," he said. 

"My apologies for being somewhat dramatic but we are facing, primarily through social media, a significant and concerted attack. We need to stand up, work as a team, and re-establish ourselves on the high ground". 

Employment lawyer Andrew Scott-Howman said advertising a position when there was every intention of appointing the incumbent could be seen as "contrary to good faith".

"If you do advertise, you do have to be open-minded. Any suggestion you may have pre-determined the outcome, or be closed-minded to someone else who comes along, then effectively it brings the process into question.

"It could lead to problems. The mayor may have disqualified himself from being one of the selection panel because he's effectively advertised bias towards one of the candidates. He may need to stand back from the process."

On Friday Dalton rejected that, and said his email only encouraged councillors to show their support for Jack, not for him retaining his position.

"All I'm saying is they need to stand up and stand by their man. It has nothing to do with his employment whatsoever."

The decision on who would be appointed chief executive would be made by a subcommittee consisting of Dalton, deputy mayor Faye White and councillor Tony Jeffery.

"I've got a completely open mind," Dalton said. "At the time I sent that out it was because the council was being attacked through Wayne and me left, right and centre. I didn't even know at that stage if Wayne was re-applying for the job. I'm told he has now.

"The social media attacks have been that cruel that as much as anything they are affecting our lives and much of the criticism is unjust. They've personalised it against Wayne and I when the decisions are council decisions.

"All I did was write to my councillors, as I'm quite entitled to do, and say 'come on guys, we're all one team, you need to support your chief executive'."

He said he would look at the applicants next week. The subcommitee would then go through the interview process "and the best person for the job will get it".

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Gym gives youth a helping hand video

Otara's Prideland boxing gym is run by Crosspower, helping young people get fit and unleash their stress in the ring.

The boxing gym's motto is Unleash the Lion Within - encouraging fighters to let their steam off in the ring, rather than on the streets.

Teen wins silver in world Thai boxing champs

Tasha Wihongi with just some of her medals won over the past two years.

Moerewa teen Tasha Wihongi is celebrating a silver-medal placing at the recent world youth championships for Thai boxing. 

Hudgens hearts Takapuna?

A visual indication from Panuku of what the development could look like.

Vanessa Hudgens is a fan of New Zealand but does she actually love Takapuna? Auckland Council accidentally says 'yes'.

Beard man a cut above video

Ygnacio Cervio has twice been ranked fifth best beard in the world.

Auckland man aiming to take out world beard growing title.

Wellington

Setting sail in a sea of words

22082017 Capital Day - Christine Ling (pictured) and Margot Sorenson have made a giant paper origami boat which will be ...

 A giant paper origami boat is sailing into the National Library for National Poetry Day

Fatal scooter crash

The scene of the fatal collision between a car and a 91 year old man on a mobility scooter on Waerenga Rd, Otaki, near ...

A 91-year-old man was getting fish and chips when his mobility scooter and a car crashed.

How to raise $10 million

Lesley Slieker says a community effort is needed to raise funds to rebuild hospice.

A concerted community effort is needed to raise money to rebuild Te Omanga Hospice.

Quarry's rocky ground

A digger working the existing pit at Kiwi Point quarry, Ngauranga Gorge.

Wellington's choice: a new scar on landscape, or running out of building material.

Canterbury

Kids win playground poo war

Tarras School pupils celebrate the new public toilet that is up and running outside the school. Children petitioned the ...

Poosistance has paid off for a school that's grounds were being used as a toilet by tourists.

'No service cuts here'

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman insists there will be no service cuts to Canterbury District Health Board services.

Health Minister insists there won't be any frontline service cuts as a result of the CDHB's ballooning deficit.

New stadium partners wanted

Christchurch's proposed multi-use arena could have a steel roof and a retractable turf.

Mayor says more work needed to decide how stadium would be paid for.

Stream runs fluorescent green

A stream in Sumner was running bright green on Wednesday morning.

Surprised residents of one city suburb have spotted a stream running fluorescent green.

Waikato

A 'world class' Garden Place video

Two shared lanes and car parks are being proposed for Hamilton's Garden Place.

Bold plan focuses on events and making city square family friendly.

Fatal crash near Waihi

Athenree Gorge runs between Waihi Beach and Waihi township, north of Tauranga.

One dead and State Highway 2 closed after collision between car and petrol tanker in Bay of Plenty.

Highway man link to fatal fire

The scene of the fatal house fire.

Man seen standing on the side of the highway near scene sparks police appeal.

10 slips block Hamilton paths

Most of the slips came to Hamilton City Council's attention after wild weather washed over in March and April, 2017 ...

Two of them 'could be from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix'.

Taranaki

One tent, 14 countries gallery

The Taranaki Arts Festival - Multi Ethnic Extravaganza was held in the Crystal Palace.

Multi-ethnic show peeks into cultures around the globe.

(No) luck of the Irish

Rose from New Zealand, Niamh O'Sullivan, with Rose Bud Molly at the Rose of Tralee competition in Ireland.

There was disappointment for Taranaki's Niamh O'Sullivan at Ireland's Rose of Tralee pageant.

Recipe: Gold medal omelette

The winning  lemonade scones with poppy seed butter, apricot and ginger jam with whipped cream

Here are the recipes for a gold winning omelette, lemonade scone and chicken mushroom pasta.

Review: Hamlet: The Video Game

Hamlet: The Video Game (The Stage Show) is a part of the Taranaki Arts Festival 2017.

With an audience of a mixed age, the young learnt of Hamlet while the older learnt about video games.

Manawatu

Block to road upgrade cleared

22082017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF	
James Line, Kelvin Grove, Palmerston North

Palmerston North's James Line has been cleared for an urban makeover.

More homes for city

Jacinda Adern announces more state houses for Palmerston North. On her right is Labour's Rangitikei candidate Heather ...

Political parties go into battle over housing in Palmerston North.

Live: Govt books open

No new tax cuts before 2020, Steven Joyce says, with news surplus will be lower.

No new tax cuts before 2020, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

Pond house problems

Jillian Sinclair is struggling to find a house suitable for her special needs children, and fears she'll have to leave ...

She won a Tenancy Tribunal case against property manager, but still lives there.

Nelson

Farewell Spit eco-sanctuary plan

HealthPost chair Peter Butler on Farewell Spit.

A Golden Bay company is teaming up with DOC to help wildlife at Farewell Spit.

Rough sleeping banned

People like Peter Wilkie, left,  will no longer be able to sleep rough overnight in the Nelson CBD.

Nelson City Council bylaw puts in place ban on rough sleeping in city centre.

Woman airlifted after crash

Accident on SH6 near Rai Valley

A woman in her 20s was injured after her car went down an embankment on SH6.

Couple's six-figure trawler lie

Tyler Stewart Stokes, 20, and Monique Carlaw, 22, earlier admitted lying to Talley's Fisheries about a car crash they ...

The couple lied about a tragedy to divert a fishing trawler - costing Talley's $173,000.

Marlborough

Cone and the Marlburian video

Mr Whippy franchise owner Len Shaw has sold a lot of ice cream in Marlborough.

Marlborough's Mr Whippy creams the competition, scoops national award.

Crash on SH6

Accident on SH6 near Rai Valley

A woman in her 20s has been hurt in a serious crash in Marlborough

Sawmill fire could have spread

The Kaikoura Volunteer Fire Brigade put out a sawmill fire on Wednesday.

Sparks from a welding winch have set fire to sawdust at a Kaikoura sawmill.

Bridges beamed in

The concept design of the Irongate bridge on State Highway 1.

Design plans show new-look coastal highway, complete with bridges and seawalls.

South Canterbury

Cancer concern prompts book

Terrance Page has authored a book which he's giving away to help raise awareness about healthy eating in children.

Timaru man Terrance Page is determined to reduce the rate of child cancer in New Zealand.

Disease at third farm

Cows on an a farm near Oamaru look likely to have been infected with the Mycoplasma bovis disease from a Van Leeuwen ...

Cow disease Mycoplasma bovis spreads to a third farm, this one in Oamaru.

Man found in canal

Missing Twizel man David Fountain has been found dead.

Twizel man David Fountain has been remembered as an "honest, thoughtful" man.

Power out in Waimate

Power is out in Waimate after truck collided with power pole on Augustine St.

Power is out across Waimate after a truck collided with a power pole in the town.

Otago

Cries of 'shame' at mass Otago Uni protest video

A large crowd let their voices heard over proposed job cuts at the University of Otago

Hundreds of people made their voices heard over proposed job cuts at the University of Otago.

Faddes breaks another hand

Matt Faddes attempts to break the tackle of North Harbour wing Matt Duffie in last year's championship final in Dunedin.

He'd never broken a bone in his body before this year, now Highlander Matt Faddes has broken both hands within three months.

Young guns in latest cycling intake

The 2017 Cycling NZ Southern Performance Hub squad at the indoor velodrome in Invercargill.

The latest intake of 17 promising cyclists will be put through their paces as part of the 2017 Southern Performance Hub in Invercargill.

Kids win playground poo war

Tarras School pupils celebrate the new public toilet that is up and running outside the school. Children petitioned the ...

Poosistance has paid off for a Central Otago school that's grounds were being used as a toilet by tourists.

Southland

Polyfest hits new heights video

Members of the Otatara Kindy on stage at Polyfest 2017

''They like the sense of whanau, they feel like they are a part of something."

Hospitality at the heart of the south

Ronald McDonald Family Room supervisor Helen Walker and volunteer Susan Stenton at the Ronald McDonald House ...

Southland's inaugural Purple Work Shirt Day is raising funds for Ronald McDonald House.

'Stubbornness' gets Grieve home

Dwight Grieve from Fiordland leads Jack McNaughton and Buddy Small in the early stages of the Southland championships in ...

Stubbornness and a want to succeed have helped Dwight Grieve claim the Southland Road Championship title in Te Anau on Saturday.

Quick thinking prevents injury

Fire crews attend a house fire on Dipton street, Invercargill, on Sunday afternoon.

An Invercargill family had a close shave following a house fire in Kingswell.

Ad Feedback