Following Ms Timms unacceptable-to-the-council behaviour on Cue TV, where she impersonated a struggling young mum named 'Ruby' and denied the obvious deception when pressed by Invercargill mayor, Tim Shadbolt, the council has resolved to meet in January to deal with the question of her suitability as chairman of the council. It seemed obvious to me that any vote taken at that meeting would be one of no-confidence in the chairman, as a result of her behaviour, providing an opportunity for those who feel she should go to vote that way, and those who want her to stay to vote against the motion, but no, it turns out that the Acting Chairman, Nichol Horrell has proposed a vote of confidence in Ms Timms! I've always thought such a vote was taken when a council was looking to praise and reward its chair or mayor, for a job especially well done, a kind of official 'pat on the back'. Clearly that's not what should be happening here, if I am right in my interpretation. Still, we shall see. Legal advice has been sought and that should clarify the correctness or otherwise of Mr Horrell's move.
The legal advice was returned this afternoon and they made this point:
" We have never come across a vote of confidence in the context of local government
previously, so cannot comment on what it typically means in local government."
That tells me the proposal for a 'vote of confidence' is unprecedented, unusual and untested in local government. Why on earth would we use it then?