The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Getting the record straight
By Roger Childs
At last week’s Council Meeting, Activist Salima Padamsey took Mayor Gurunathan and CEO Dougherty to task, for inaccurate statements in relation to a vote on changes to Standing Orders taken in 15 December 2016.
The mayor got it wrong about what transpired in two respects in a Kapiti News column, and the CEO was incorrect on one count in replying to Ms Padamsey’s Official Information Act (OIA) requests.
To be specific
In his 25 January column in the Kapiti News the Mayor stated that The changes were unanimously voted for by all the elected representatives. This was not correct, as the CEO told Salima later that Cllr Buswell and Cllr Cardiff were absent from the meeting.
- Salima asked the CEO for details on the division on the issue and was told that A division was not requested for the motion in question [adoption of Standing Orders], so it cannot be provided. However the official audio record referred, in Salima’s words, to Cllr M Scott asking for a division of all those present on the 15 of December …
- On the question of the unanimity on the vote, both the Mayor and CEO erred. The audio record revealed that Councillor Elliot did not vote in favour of the changes to Standing Orders.
Don’t mess with Salima!
One would have thought that the Council would know by now, that Salima Padamsey wants the truth, as do all Kapiti citizens. If there is deception or inaccuracy, she will let the Chief Executive and elected representatives know.
The matters above which she raised at last Thursday’s Council Meeting may be considered to be minor, but there is no excuse for sloppy and incorrect reporting.
This is not the first time the issue has arisen, as during the last triennium the Local Government Commission criticised KCDC for inadequacies in its record keeping.
At the end her submission, Salima made a request:
… I want a reassurance that Council takes a dim view of inaccurate OIA responses. Many of you campaigned on openness and transparency. The only way to ensure misleading information is not given in OIAs is to hold the person responsible to account. In this case, the only person you Councillors’ can make that demand of is the CEO.
CEO Dougherty did apologize to Ms Padamsey, but, strangely, the mayor did not accept this apology! Guru said that he would respond later.