Boot Motions » Council meeting 22 June 2011 - WorkBoot dig #7
Moved Larsen That an independent RMA mediator be appointed as a matter of urgency to mediate on matters of process and costs relating to disputes between applicants and council staff/ consultants. The RMA mediator will make recommendations to Council and will liaise with a committee Comprised of the Mayor and two appointed councillors with current MfE Making Good Decisions certification when available; and That in appointing the RMA mediator, preference shall be given to candidates with the following characteristics – A professional person with extensive experience and expertise, and qualifications covering the many sectors of development regulated by Council. Experience in Engineering, Construction, Land Development and Project Financing. Be certified by the MfE Making Good Decisions programme Experience in negotiation between parties with conflicting interests and who need to perceive that at the end they have been treated according to the principles of natural justice. Demonstrable access to international experts and networks will be an advantage, as Council wants to be advised of best international experience as well as local experience and legislative requirements. Able to communicate with the parties and the general public through high quality reports and commentaries. Therefore proven capabilities in communication and good relationships with the various media will be necessary. Able to complete or transfer any projects currently being undertaken for clients prior to appointment to ensure genuine independence; and That preference given to suitably qualified persons residing within the Kaipara District
Feedback to me as a Councillor is that this Council is anti-development. The official position of Council (in being for growth and development in the District) appears to be undermined in ratepayer perception by Council’s battles with developers and the affect on property rights of recent Council initiatives. The paradox is that Council has set itself growth objectives that must be achieved (e.g. Mangawhai growth) if the Council is going to be able to reduce its debt. The appointment of a mediator will provide both a clear alternative to objectors and signal to ratepayers that the Council is serious about transparency and avoiding impact on the costs to ratepayers of easily solvable issues. It will improve the economic viability of such proposals and accordingly give a clear signal that Council is not opposed to economic growth within the district.
This notice of motion has been deferred to the July Council meeting pending a full report from the Chief Executive.
Reasons given by Mayor for accepting –
3.7.7 Chairperson’s recommendation
My analysis -
3.7.7 Chairperson’s recommendation states -
“The chairperson of any meeting may include on the agenda for that meeting a chairperson’s recommendation regarding any item brought before the meeting.”
However this is a “recommendation regarding any item brought before the meeting.” The Mayor has misinterpreted this to mean he has a unilateral power to recommend whether or not any notice of motion actually appears on the agenda.
This is supported by Appendix C, clause C5 which states-
“The chairperson of any meeting may include on the agenda for that meeting a chairperson’s recommendation regarding any item brought before the meeting. The purpose of such a recommendation is to focus debate on a suggested motion.” (Underlining added)