Mayor and his team prepared for leadership
By Pauline Stewart
The Local Government Act 2002 defines the role of a mayor as having to provide leadership to the other elected members of the territorial authority, be a leader in the community and perform civic duties. That is a very short summary of the thousand things the mayor must do, and of course these apply to our new Mayor, Len Salt.
This past week at the chambers of the Thames Coromandel District Council in Thames, Len was invested with the responsibilities, and duties to be Mayor of the entire area of Thames Coromandel district.
Mayor Salt has a team of nine Councillors, and 20 Community Board members from across five areas, and they have already been through the induction process followed by the ceremony of investiture. In terms of employed, key staff leaders, there is the Chief Executive Officer, Aileen Lawrie, who has five group manager, Operations - Bruce Hinson, Corporate Services - Donna Holland, Economic Development and Communications - Laurna White, People and Capability - Georgina Whittenham, and Regulatory Services - Brian Taylor.
The Local Government Act of 2002 sets out the purpose of local government and the expectations of councils. Our Mayor and Thames Coromandel District Council are our local government.
District Councillors: Deli Connell, John Grant and Rekha Percival are our three elected representatives for Mercury Bay on TCDC. Their purpose on our behalf, will be to - Enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, their communities across the Coromandel Peninsula. - Promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of these communities in the present and for the future. - Lead and represent their communities, engage with their communities and encourage community participation in decision-making, while considering the needs of people currently living in communities, and those who will live there in the future.
The requirements of the Act of 2002 give wide scope to do things within the context of the purpose of local government. However all Councils, including Thames Coromandel District Council, are required to –
Separate policy setting from operational functions as far as possible. -Prepare long-term plans (LTPs), annual plans and budgets in consultation with their communities. Report annually on performance in relation to their plans. Prepare long-term financial strategies including funding, financial management and investment policies.
Councils have a variety of other statutory responsibilities which are set out in other Acts such as the Resource Management Act 1991, the Building Act 2004, and the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Community Boards: These were created by the local government reforms in 1989. Some 110 Community Boards now operate in both urban and rural areas throughout New Zealand. They carry out functions and exercise those powers delegated to them by their councils. We have four elected members, all new to the role, who were invested this past week to be the Mercury Bay Community Board.
Caroline Hobman, Bess Kingi, Peter Mackenzie. Krissy Robinson will:-
Represent and act as an advocate for the interests of Mercury Bay. -Consider and report on any matter referred to it by TCDC, and any issues of interest to the Community Board. ---Make an annual submission to TCDC on expenditure within Mercury Bay. -Maintain an overview of services provided by TCDC within Mercury Bay. Communicate with community organisations and special interest groups in Mercury Bay. Undertake any other responsibilities delegated by TCDC.
These are all roles of service to the community and beyond. Accountability is key, but we also need to serve our communities. We too are accountable to one another and to the future.