Adjudicator to hear complaint against mayor

Lee Vandervis.
Lee Vandervis.
An independent adjudicator is to be called in to hear a code of conduct complaint against Dunedin's mayor.

The Dunedin City Council agreed last week to depart from the usual path and appoint an independent person to resolve the complaint from Cr Lee Vandervis, following the failure of mediation.

The adjudicator is to assess the available information, and a hearing is likely to follow in mid-February.

Cr Vandervis laid the complaint after a television interview during last year's local body elections, in which Mayor Dave Cull called the councillor's experience and policies ''shonky, nutty and extreme''. Cr Vandervis said the comments breached the provision of the council's code that covers relationships with other members.

Mediation was ended after the councillor rejected a written apology from Mr Cull in December. Cr Vandervis said the apology was nothing like that sought in mediation and only compounded the situation.

Council corporate services manager Sandy Graham said having an independent adjudicator deal with the issue was a departure from the normal complaint resolution process, which was to form a code of conduct committee consisting of the mayor, the deputy mayor and an independent person.

But because the mayor was involved and deputy mayor Chris Staynes called and led the mediation, it was agreed an independent person alone should decide the matter.

An adjudicator had been identified, but final arrangements with that person were yet to be confirmed, she said.

Cr Vandervis said he had already sought any legal costs to date.

He expected the adjudicator to make a decision on costs.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

Agree and disagree

Firstly, whilst I don't agree on your summation of their relationship, I do agree that one should fight their employee if they are being mistreated.  The difference is that the ratepayer wouldn't be paying for me to do it.

Are you saying you are happy for Vandervis to spend money on trying to prove a point yet you are unhappy about paying $60/yr in stadium fees? Classic.

Resolving interpersonal difficulties

"This guy is a waste of time, space and resource," declares stevepf, and it must be admitted that Dave has not acted with the wisdom one might have hoped for.  

In relation to "completely [wasting] taxpayers money" it is almost as if he has an extreme allergic reaction to Vandervis that brings him out in rashness, such as those injudicious words in a television interview during last year's local body elections.  How many of us would feel OK about a person we were probably going to have to work with, insulting us in public like that?  

How many of us would not realise we had overstepped the mark and the decent dignified thing would be admit it and apologise in such a way as to (hopefully) repair the working relationship?  

It is time Dave came to terms with the fact that if he cannot overcome his "allergic reaction" he needs practice breathing through his nose, for the sake of the ratepayers who can think of better things to spend money on than cleaning up interpersonal dirt.

Here is some irony

I would love to hear the thoughts of EJ Kerr, Russandbev etc on this. Whilst all you do is complain about the DCC's frivilous spending, your beloved councillor is going to do just that - completely waste taxpayers money by going through this process.

This guy is a waste of time, space and resource.  

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