From the editor’s desk

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IT seems a case of cutting off his nose to spite his face as far as Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt goes.

Southland Express editor Karen Pasco.

His Deputy Toni Biddle has accompanied him at meetings, been present on speaker phone when Sir Tim has been called by reporters and took over chairing council meetings during the Covid-19 lockdown and yet she has seen the wrath of the very man she has been supporting.

Why?

Because she voted in favour of a restructure of council’s committees

Sir Tim has made it clear in the past he believes his deputy should always support him in any decision he makes.

This in itself seems ironic given the ardent protester and upholder of democracy he is.

Last week, he told Otatara residents who disagreed with council’s decision on spending a bequest, it was important they spoke up.

But apparently that’s only okay if you’re not his deputy.

He is starting to accumulate a growing list of deputies who have fallen out of favour.

In 2009, an unsuccessful attempt was made to rid then Cr Neil Boniface of his deputy status as he failed to inform Sir Tim of then chief executive Richard King’s drink-driving matter and failed to send Sir Tim a copy of Mr King’s employment contract which Mr Boniface had signed as part of his duties as Deputy Mayor.

Then there was Cr Darren Ludlow in 2017 when Sir Tim believed Cr Ludlow had withheld information and then Cr Rebecca Amundsen last year, when he believed she was creating factions among council and orchestrating a smear campaign against him.

If Mrs Biddle decides to leave him to his own devices due to last week’s spat, what will happen?

There are signs Sir Tim may not be coping as well as he once did. Comments made by his own councillors and the need for Mrs Biddle to step in and help show Sir Tim his place in the agenda at a meeting he was chairing are proof of this.

Mrs Biddle and Sir Tim but, in the meantime, let’s hope the disdain around the council table doesn’t mean the community suffers as a result.

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