(The David Scott story has been splashed through the media and is a key talking point among cafe, walking, running and cycling groups in the Kapiti area. The Kapiti Observer reported last week that the Mayor confirmed that “an investigation was under way…”
Whether this is a case of vindictiveness on the part of Council staff who oppose Cr, Scott’s positions on spending, or a genuine case of sexual harassment, will obviously come out in the inquiry.
So surely this is a sub judice situation, and therefore not to be discussed publicly. Why then did it come up at last Thursday’s public Council Meeting?)
Sensitive Scott case raised inappropriately?
By John Le Harivel
We saw Council at the Audit and Risk Committee (A&R) Meeting of 27 April, sink to yet another new low, even by Kapiti Coast District Council’s own dreadful standards.
Given the Standen case, the Wright’s case, and now the Osborne’s case, to mention just a few, and all the publicity surrounding them and others, one has to seriously question why Internal Affairs does not carry out a thorough investigation of Council’s dealings and performance.
There was no need to raise the issue at the A&R meeting at all. It certainly was not on the agenda.
Should be dealt with behind closed doors
Surely this matter of an alleged sexual harassment complaint should be dealt with behind closed doors without publicity, not in the full glare of the media. The fact that it was not, raises some serious questions.
Why did the incident make front page news in the DomPost on Anzac Day, when, as has been stated, only four people knew about it and one of those has publicly denied leaking anything to the press and had no incentive to so do.
The acting chair person of the A&R Committee, Fiona Vining, has some serious questions to answer for her conduct and running of the meeting.
I suggest she pays particular attention to the audio of the early parts of the meeting and should reconsider what she said, and apologize publicly.
I observed much hushed conversations between the Chair, the CEO and the Mayor, with microphones switched off.
The usual chairperson, Mike Cardiff, commented later: For the record, I could not attend the meeting as I was at a family funeral in Wellington.
At no time had I discussed or suggested to anyone that the matter concerning Councillor David Scott should be included in any part of the Agenda. It was totally unnecessary.
(See the postscript at the bottom for the actual sequence of events.)
The authoritarian Council is not promoting democracy
As someone who attended the beginning of the A&R meeting, I have to ask why were there at least 10 staff members present, when usually there are very few, and only two actually contributed in the early stages and then only very briefly?
Why were the councillors, who are not committee members, present when usually they are not?
I get the distinct impression councillors think they can do what they want, and forget they are there to represent their constituents, not their own petty concerns and agendas, or to promote staff’s agendas.
This is not democracy at work. This is an authoritarian, bullying Council that brooks no questioning, admits no wrong and uses whatever tactics it can, using ratepayers’ money, to attack and defend itself at all costs against the very people who fund its work on their behalf.
Just think how much time and cost is wasted on peripheral matters when there are serious risks for the community such as
~ coastal hazards
~ housing affordability rates
~ increasing debt levels
to mention just a few.
Postscript: what actually happened
(For the record, here is the sequence of events at last Thursday’s Meeting.
Acting Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee, Cr Vining, raised the issue of a councillor being investigated by the police as the first item.
- Cr D Scott said the statement was a lie.
- CE Pat Dougherty said that as of 8.00am the police had been called in.
- Cr Scott said that it was news to him, so the chair’s statement was inaccurate.
- The meeting was adjourned.
- Resuming the meeting Cr Vining asked Cr Scott to apologise for calling her a liar.
- Cr Scott said he hadn’t, but apologised if she had misunderstood. (Whether she heard this apology is unclear.)
- The meeting was again adjourned.
- The Mayor and CE told Cr Scott that the police had been called to remove him from the Chambers.
- Cr Scott left.)