INVERCARGILL City Council chief executive Clare Hadley has denied proposed changes mean the deputy mayor will effectively be taking over from Sir Tim Shadbolt as mayor.
Changes to the deputy mayor role were suggested in a damning review which highlighted a leadership void and said Sir Tim was struggling to perform significant aspects of his role.
In the review, Richard Thomson said if the mayor was going to continue in his role, “as he has publicly stated is his intention”, then there was a need to have a clear set of delegations for the deputy mayor.
What roles the mayor would continue to fulfil would also need to be defined, he said.
‘‘These may be those where he has traditionally focused his energy — promotion and ceremonial, primarily,’’ he wrote.
Mrs Hadley said last week the new responsibilities and role of deputy mayor Nobby Clark would be defined by the elected members as part of its plan of action.
She said the team had begun filling in the details of the plan, but they were “still in the early stages”.
However, she denied any changes would mean the deputy mayor would replace Sir Tim as mayor.
“The mayor is democratically elected; the deputy mayor has been appointed by the mayor.”
She said there had, as of yet, been no discussions over whether Cr Clark would be paid more to do the extra work he had been delegated.
‘‘For any one councillor — which is what the deputy mayor is — to receive more remuneration, others would need to receive less,’’ Mrs Hadley said.
Cr Clark had said earlier this week he was not worried about being paid more and he accepted the job “to get things done”.
As part of the review, it was suggested two external observers be appointed.
Mrs Hadley said council staff were preparing information for councillors in relation to recruitment of, the pair.
It was working to identify possible candidates and said the matter would be the subject of a report to be presented to the council on December 15.
“Their roles were proposed in the review document and cover report sponsor the action plan; one to chair the chairs’ meeting and allow the chief executive to step back.”
It was expected to cost council hundreds of thousands of dollars for their services.