INVERCARGILL’S new deputy mayor was forced to publicly apologise after suggesting the mayoral ambitions of three fellow councillors were contributing to the council’s problems.
During an Invercargill City Council (ICC) Infrastructure meeting on Tuesday, Invercargill Deputy Mayor Nobby Clark apologised to councillors Ian Pottinger, Rebecca Amundsen and Darren Ludlow in relation to comments he made in a story published in the Otago Daily Times last month.
In it, Cr Clark said there were factions within the council and stated the three councillors wanted to be mayor, which created “a little bit of an issue”.
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my apologies. During recent media commentary regarding the mayor and his performance, I stated to ODT a view that three of my colleagues had had some impact on that. On reflection, that statement, it was inappropriate,” he said.
The three councillors thanked Cr Clark for his apology.
The public apology came amid a probe into the council by the Department of Internal Affairs, which has raised concerns about “significant conflict”.
Cr Clark is the subject of a code of conduct complaint still being investigated.
An urgent ICC meeting where councillors would be briefed on the independent evaluation to assess the standard of governance at council was rescheduled for today after a cancellation last week due to a councillor’s family death.
During Tuesday’s meeting, councillors also received a draft of the roading, traffic and parking control bylaws soon to go for public consultation.
ICC roading manager Russell Pearson said the bylaw was the most appropriate way to address issues of controlling road usage, traffic and parking within the Invercargill area.
He said the document did not cover speed limits as they would be the subject of another bylaw to be discussed next year.
He said members of the community who wanted to ask for a change in any particular street could make suggestions.
The document covered a plan to replace all parking meters with “Pay by Plate” zones. Costs would rise in busier areas.