Council vacancy stays

A vacancy for a councillor in the Corriedale ward will remain empty, but its other councillor, Kevin Malcolm, is unhappy about the area having one fewer vote in the Waitaki District Council.

Corriedale elects two councillors to the 11-member council, but one of its representatives, Duntroon farmer Geoff Keeling, resigned on February 15 because of business and family commitments.

Yesterday, the council decided to leave the seat vacant, a move opposed by Cr Malcolm. He wanted the chance to pursue - with others in the ward and North Otago Federated Farmers - selecting an appointee.

However, Cr Craig Dawson felt there was little time before the election in October, money should not be used on an election and there was not much time to get a new councillor up to speed.

Cr Kathy Dennison was nervous about the council appointing someone and felt that should be done by voters through an election.

A move to appoint someone from the ward to the council's committee of the whole, not the council, without a vote but to help Cr Malcolm, was lost. Cr Malcolm opposed that because the person would not have a vote.