Executive committee to govern Waipā
An executive committee has today been granted the power to make decisions on behalf of Council until further notice.
During a meeting, councillors agreed to temporarily delegate governing powers and functions to a small committee, to ensure Council could continue to make decisions and respond to emergency situations. This committee will be in place until Council can return to its usual operations.
The executive committee includes mayor Jim Mylchreest, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk and chairs of four Council committees; Service Delivery chair Graham Webber, Finance and Corporate chair Andrew Brown, Regulatory chair Marcus Gower, and Strategic Planning and Policy chair Susan O’Regan.
Quorum, which is the number of Councillors required to be physically present in chambers to pass a decision, will also be lowered to two, allowing the committee to make necessary decisions with the fewest number of people needing to be physically present.
All meetings of Council, Council committees (other than the executive committee) and the Te Awamutu and Cambridge community boards will be suspended during this period.
Waipā District Council mayor Jim Mylchreest said the changes would ensure Council could continue to function as a governing body throughout this unprecedented time.
“These measures are absolutely necessary. These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary measures.
“We need to do whatever we can to ensure Council can continue to serve the community during this time of uncertainly and worry.”
The executive committee will have the power to make decisions on most governing matters, including the authorisation of any level of expenditure. They wouldn’t, however, be able to make decisions on matters which can only be addressed by Council such as adopting the Annual Plan or setting rates.
“This committee will be in place purely for the purposes of making crucial decisions for Waipā while we are on alert level 3. During a crisis like this, we must be able to make decisions quickly and respond to the rapidly evolving situation. This will allow us to do that.
“Once Council can return to its usual operations, decision-making powers will once again rest with the full body of councillors and committee members.”
In the event that the executive committee is unable to meet and comply with legislative requirements, as is the case while alert level 4 is active, councillors agreed decision-making powers would be held by the chief executive in consultation with the mayor and councillors.
Waipā District Council is one of several across the country to put such a committee in place.