The Southland Times reports:
Shamed Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms has taken six weeks paid leave, effective immediately, but four regional councillors believe she should have stood down.
Ms Timms applied for the leave after being outed for making a hoax phone call to talkback television last week. She harangued Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt about the council’s funding of the Auckland to Bluff yacht race for nearly 10 minutes on the Cue television programme, while pretending to be a struggling mother of two called Ruby whose partner had been laid off at Tiwai.
Environment Southland councillors discussed her actions in a closed-doors meeting yesterday, with acting Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell later issuing a statement saying they had unanimously expressed their extreme disapproval of her “unacceptable lack of judgment”.
The council is expected to hold a meeting in late January “to consider the council’s chairmanship”.
I don’t see how she can continue in the chair’s role with credibility. I don’t think she needs to resign from the Council, and in October voters can decide whether to keep her on. But the council elect the chair, and they can’t have a leader who does fake calls to TV shows to attack the Mayor of one of the Councils they have to work with.
Shadbolt may be hard work, but the tactics can not be condoned.