Kapiti Coast Councillor Jackie Elliott says the four councilors who opposed the KCDC’s new water plan were all Mayoral candidates whose collective support during the last election far outnumbered voting support for the Mayor.
And she says if the mayoral election was re-run now, in the light of the water supply vote, Mayor Ross church would be ‘out by dinner time.’
A staff-recommended option of river recharge, funded by volume charging through water meters, was passed 7 votes to 4 — including support from Mayor Church and Waikanae Ward Councillor Tony Lloyd. Both had previously indicated they were against water meters.
The four councilors who voted against were Cr Elliott, Cr K Gurunathan (Guru), Cr David Scott and Cr Gavin Welsh
Cr Elliott says of the crucial vote: “Judging by the performance (at the meeting), if the election was today, there are doubts Mr Church would be mayor by dinner time and Cr Lloyd – who won by 4 votes – would almost certainly be ousted in Waikanae.
“While widely criticising Mayor Rowan’s, reverse decision on water meters, Mr Church has beaten Rowan to the end of a slippery slide with his sudden support for water meters and complete backdown of his election headlines to ‘build the dam ‘ confirmed just six weeks after being elected Mayor.”
Attempt to defer decision
Crs Elliott and Scott had recommended that council defer the final decision until the meeting in March 2014 – because the new Council hadn’t had the chance over the past six weeks to discuss the water supply options. However, they failed in the attempt.
Ms Elliott also says Councillors also requested reports from staff on updated leak-detection figures as savings may have already brought Kapiti close to the target consumption level.
Perhaps the most important issue, though, says Cr Elliott. is the fact Councillors expected a report back from lawyers Simpson and Greirson, saying exactly which votes on water supply were subject to a 5/6 majority vote and which were subject to the newly required 9/2 majority.
She says the 9/2 rule would give any three members at the table powers to outvote the other eight.
“Legal clarification was promised four days earlier and still didn’t arrive before this crucial meeting,” she says.