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Two Kapiti councillors challenge reappointment of Pat Dougherty

Joint media statement by Jackie Elliott and David Scott
Crs David Scott and Jackie Elliott would like to reassure the Kapiti public that we played no part whatsoever in the re-employment of KCDC Chief Executive Pat Dougherty as CE of KCDC for a further five years.

We dispute the Mayor’s media statement which starts with the words ‘Council has reappointed Pat Dougherty.’

We did not take part in his selection. We would like the public to know we had no opportunity to take part given the Mayor’s last minute bringing forward of the selection meeting, held under extraordinary special meeting conditions at the office of a private recruitment company in Wellington at an unspecified time, all to be challenged as a breach of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act or LGOIMA.

This meeting occurred while Cr Elliott was on her first leave of absence since being elected in October 2013. She says: “the last minute change of the meeting date to select a candidate while I was on leave completely thwarted my stated intention to fully represent the people of Kapiti by voting for the next CE. This, I considered to be one of the most important decisions I make in this triennium.”

“I intended to take part fully despite repeatedly being threatened by the Mayor and KCDC legal Counsel Tim Power of legal action against me personally if I voted against the incumbent CE.”

Newly elected Waikanae Ward Councillor Cr Michael Scott was on leave of absence and did not take part in this important decision. He is unavailable to comment.

Since his election, Cr David Scott has expressed the need to look at the CE employment process and re assess the high level of salaries paid nationally and voted accordingly.

The Mayor has said ‘ Pat needed to be the glue among all this change because he has so much institutional knowledge.’ It is arguable that throughout 7 years of KCDC entering unquestionably murky waters and lurching from disaster to disaster, that despite many changes in councillors, Mayors, staff and community board members, the only constant has been the presence of the same CE attempting to steer the boat.

Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council – May 18
Kāpiti Coast District Council today reappointed chief executive Pat Dougherty for a further five-year term. Mr Dougherty’s previous contract was due to expire in August, seven years after he first took up the position. This was the maximum term allowed under the Local Government Act and the council was required to re-advertise the role.

Mayor Ross Church says Mr Dougherty was reappointed after a robust, widely-advertised recruitment process.

“We have appointed the candidate we believe is best placed to lead the council in delivering on our vision of a vibrant, diverse and thriving Kāpiti Coast.

“This follows a comprehensive selection process and we were very impressed by the number of high calibre applications we received. Clearly, this council and the Kāpiti Coast district are seen as desirable places to work,” says Mayor Church.

Mayor Church says Mr Dougherty’s reappointment ensured stability at a time when the council had already experienced significant change.

“In the last 18 months we have seen a new Mayor, a number of new councillors, and significant change in the senior leadership team. There’s a new vision for the district that’s guiding the development of the 2015-2035 Long Term Plan and a culture change programme focussed on making sure council is easy to do business with.

“Our decision to reappoint Pat reflects our confidence in his ability to lead the change we’re looking for.”

Mayor Church says Mr Dougherty’s remuneration remains the same and there will be a review of the key performance indicators for the chief executive, with changes likely.

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