Vandervis' apologies placate Weatheralls

Written apologies from Cr Lee Vandervis following an email he sent fellow councillor Colin Weatherall and his son have resolved an issue that might otherwise have resulted in a formal complaint.

The three elected Dunedin City Council representatives hit the headlines last week when Cr Vandervis sent a public email to Cr Weatherall that said he could understand why Cr Weatherall, who was defending community boards against recent attacks from Cr Vandervis, wanted to protect son Scott Weatherall's income derived from his membership of the Saddle Hill community board.

The email had also questioned the Weatheralls' own dedication after they both did not attend a recent board meeting. Cr Weatherall is the ward councillor on the community board.

Cr Weatherall was at the time in hospital recovering from major surgery and his son was working a shift with St John.

The email outraged and offended not only the Weatheralls, but many of the city councillors and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, who publicly chastised Cr Vandervis for the way he went about highlighting issues he thought should be canvassed, and using tactics like personal attacks and publicly belittling and questioning the integrity of fellow elected representatives.

He said that sort of behaviour only served to challenge the level of community respect for the council and was lamentable.

Cr Vandervis apologised in writing to Cr Weatherall the same day, and earlier this week also apologised in writing to Scott Weatherall.

Cr Weatherall said the apologies resolved the issue as far as he and his son were concerned and as a result he had decided not to make any formal Code of Conduct complaint against Cr Vandervis.

Mr Cull said while he had received numerous comments from other councillors about Cr Vandervis' email, none reached the threshold of a formal complaint and if Cr Weatherall agreed the matter was resolved by the apologies, he was happy to let that be the end of the matter.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

 

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