Timing of contracts - The Whangarei Report - 1st April 2010

Employment contracts - Northern Advocate - 23rd March 2010


Are contracts timed appropriately?

We receive many comments in the regards of contracts and their renewals with many and varied situations in Whangarei and more recently heard comments on employment contracts and their timing which has prompted our awareness to ponder the following from previous remarks been made to us.  It has recently come to light from similar conversations, that being election year and receiving information that the contract for Whangarei District Councils, Chief Executive Officer, currently held by Mr Mark Simpson, is about to be reviewed possibly this month, for a five year contract. At the requests of others, we ask is this appropriate timing and duration during the fiasco of potential changes to local government?  After October and a possible change of elected Council there may be a situation where the new council may find the working relationship between Council and Chief Executive Officer becomes un-satisfactory or un-achievable in the interests of the well being of the community. I hereby ask the opinions of current or retired Councillors, staff and the people of our District; if in fact they believe that only a temporary extension till March 2011 should be granted to the present contract of the C.E.O.  Would this allow the newly elected council a settling in time to assess the ongoing relationship?  Would it be appropriate after that time that a new contract could be entered into for a three year term placing these conditions in line for any future elections?  If, however, the present contract is renewed, could the cost to the ever burdened ratepayer be great in the event of having to pay out the CEO to negate his contract with up to a possible 5 year salary cost being imposed on council, hence the ratepayer?  Your comments are most welcome as perhaps public influence may make a change.  We have our views but would appreciate your opinion on this issue.

Warren Slater