Two Kāpiti Coast councillors have accused Mayor K Gurunathan of voting twice and so killing off the Waikane recycling centre.
Cr Jackie Elliott, Portfolio Leader Sustainable Waste Management, says an initial workshop gave majority support to keep the Waikanae Green waste and recycling centre,
But a double vote by Mayor K. Gurunathan at the following workshop sealed it’s fate.
She says “The mayor should not have given himself two votes as we were in a workshop, not a meeting under standing orders.
give himself two votes
“Indeed there is no reason why it should have even been singled out and voted on a second time in a straw poll, except to change the outcome and close the facility.”
Bernie Randall also highly critical
Councillor Bernie Randall has also been highly critical of the Mayor’s actions.
He told KIN that the workshop decision makes a mockery if local democracy on the Coast.
John Vickerman has reported that the first Council workshop had a show of hands which might have also been referred to as a ‘straw poll’. It was 7 to 3 in favour of keeping recycling in Waikanae.
Mr Vickerman says: “Later, Crs Cootes and McCann changed sides in the second meeting. When the vote was taken in the second workshop there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was a vote deciding (for) closure.
“If the vote in the second meeting was a ‘straw poll’ why would the mayor have to break ‘the deadlock using a casting vote’.
After being offered the casting vote by the Chief Executive, Mr Maxwell, the mayor upon realising he was being given a casting vote said ‘well, it’s a foregone conclusion, the recycling centre closes on the 1st of August.
“The vote in the first workshop changed what was proposed in the LTP. Staff had assumed the WRC would close.
After this (first) workshop, the budgeted amount of $123,000 was put back into the plan.
“Then in the second workshop it was said this would be met by a targeted rate for Waikanae ratepayers only – not out of the district wide rates as has occurred in the past.
“The mayor saying he ‘opted for a “collaborative approach” unlike ‘the Auckland mayor’ was a ridiculous statement. The mayor’s behaviour was the opposite. He did everything he could to get support for closure and shut the discussion down.”
Editor’s note- with thanks to Waikanae Watch for supplied material for some of this article