WCC stop trying to muzzle Councillors

Stuff reports:

Wellington City councillor Nicola Young has accused senior council staff of acting undemocratically by investigating her for an alleged conflict of interest without her knowledge.

Council officers commissioned a legal opinion from prominent lawyer Andrew Butler on whether she was conflicted on the Wellington Central Library vote because her son works at Beca – a firm that put forward a design proposal.

This is outrageous to get a secret legal opinion behind the back of a Councillor, because staff think there may be a conflict. If you think there is a potential conflict, discuss it with the Councillor.

Young said she was not consulted before the legal opinion was sought. She was provided with the opinion at a meeting with council staff in September.

“I thought it improper for officers to have commissioned a legal opinion without first discussing it with me, especially as their concerns had not been raised at any stage before this meeting,” she said.

I’d be furious also.

Earlier this year, Foster sought legal advice from law firm Simpson Grierson to try to stop Fitzsimons and other councillors from sharing opinions about the library proposals.

Also wrong. Councillors are allowed yo express an opinion in public on an issue. It’s why we elect them.

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