Dip in the bowl and a chairman is selected

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Rodger Letham
Rodger Letham
Democracy was in action from the first minute of Monday's Methven Community Board's (MCB) meeting, with two ballots needed to decide the chairman and deputy chairman roles.

At the first meeting of the new term, new Western Ward councillor Rodger Letham proposed first-time board member Kelvin Holmes for the chairman role, while fellow councillor Liz McMillan backed previous-term chairman Dan McLaughlin.

Mr Letham was seconded by Ron Smith, while Sonia McAlpine gave her vote to McLaughlin, meaning voting was tied at 3-3.

After a quick phone call to Ashburton council for policy confirmation, it was left to senior council manager and acting meeting chair Jane Donaldson to draw a name out of the hat, in this case a bowl, to decide the chairman.

Mr McLaughlin's name was drawn.

The same process was repeated with the deputy chairman role, with Kelvin Holmes this time up against Sonia McAlpine.

Mrs McAlpine's name was drawn.

Ms Donaldson had the option under delegated authority to choose a candidate for each role, but was not comfortable with making those decisions. After general consensus around the table, it was decided that name drawing was the best option.

A coin toss, which was used recently to decide the final place on the Queenstown Lakes District Council, was also considered, but ruled out.

A by-election will be held to find a fifth MCB board member, after just four candidates stood at the October election.

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