Such is a Demand of OUR Civic Leaders
This particular issue has been simmering away for a while but has just recently come to (over)boiling point as the particular issue comes to ahead tomorrow evening.
The particular issue? Howick Local Board Chair Michael Williams trying to force his Deputy Chair Adele White to “stand down” or be “forced” to be “stood down.” The reason for this? The real reason is currently unknown despite what is coming through the Main Stream Media, Facebook and Whale Oil.
Now one might be asking: Why is BR:AKL bringing this up now rather one of his Rail Efficiency Posts, or Rates and Len Brown posts. Well the REP, Rates and Len Brown posts will be still coming, however I am bringing up the Williams issue two-fold; first is that I have been watching this issue from the word get-go, second the issue falls into the branch of “What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland.”
To bring readers into the loop I point to these two articles/posts; one from The Herald, the other from Whale Oil.
From The Herald on Sunday (HoS):
Power play foiled by arrest5:30 AM Sunday Jan 20, 2013
A local politician from a leafy, well-to-do village has been charged with drink-driving and refusing to accompany a police officer. Michael Williams, a chartered accountant and the Howick Local Board chairman, faces a defended hearing at the Manukau District Court on March 1.
Williams was charged after the roadside incident in May but has kept the matter from his board members amid his bid to replace deputy chairwoman Adele White, who is also a senior police constable. Williams is charged with being more than twice the legal limit with a reading of 169ml of alcohol per litre of blood, and refusing to accompany a police officer in Auckland on May 10.
The stoush between Williams and his deputy has drawn the National MP for the area, Jami-Lee Ross, into posting an online petition backing White. Ross’ wife, Lucy Schwaner, is also a board member.
Ross and Williams ran together in the Citizens and Ratepayers Team for the 2010 local election.
Ross yesterday told the Herald on Sunday the charges against Williams gave “some new context to his attempt to oust a well-known and respected senior constable”.
You can read the rest over at HoS
Two pieces from Whale Oil:
CAESAR MICHAEL WILLIAMS FACING COURT FOR DRUNK DRIVINGby Whaleoil on January 20, 2013
Oh dear me look at what Michael Williams has been hiding from councillors as he makes his powerplay to dump Adele White from the Deputy Chair role at the Howick Local Board.
WILL HE STAY ON? THE PROBLEM WITH MICHAEL WILLIAMSby Whaleoil on January 20, 2013
There are a number of issues that stem from the Herald revelations into Michael Williams’ problems.
WO goes on and lists the four sticky problems Williams is basically now looking at.
While I am trundling along to the Howick Local Board meeting this evening to watch the “proceedings” I must say I am not particularly amused by Williams actions which brings the Howick Local Board into disrepute in the eyes of not only their constituents but also the eyes of the wider city.
Furthermore Williams’s actions not only not doing Communities and Residents (C&R) any favours right now as they get ready to contest the 2013 Local Government Elections, but his actions can (if they have not done so already) paralyse the Local Board in dedicating every single last utter resource they very well need in making sure The Unitary Plan (released soon) does not adversely affect them (which I have an idea it might).
However as far as I can see at the moment; The Williams Affair has not spread its poison to the Main Council level (yet) and is not hampering the four C&R Councillors in their duties on the Main Governing Body and respective Committees.
What The Williams Affair does show is that Michael Williams is in contempt in two main areas that I hold civic leaders to that allows him to execute his duties as Chair of the Howick Local Board. They are:
1) Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
2) Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage in dialogue with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions: you actively listen with both ears THEN engage in dialogue with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.
By virtue of extension Williams failed this aspect of Open Governance: “fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake.”
Drink driving is a scourge New Zealand and must always be actively discouraged. Resisting arrest is just plain dumb and shows no sympathy from me. If you are arrested, you might as well go quietly and “sort it” at the station rather than making a total ass of yourself plus making things more difficult than it should be. What might have been a slap across the wrist if you cooperated with the police (knowing you stuffed up) now turns into basically what Mr Williams is now facing – more damage than required… As a Civic Leader (Chair of the Local Board) I expect Mr Williams to have been straight up with his Board members and his constituents when “done” for being off his trolley while driving and to show an added amount of respect to the position of Chair, stand aside on Gardening Leave until sorted. While the Drink Driving Charge would have annoyed people to no certain ends, being open, straight up/honest, and taking responsibility would have made the effects much less than Williams obstinate approach which has riled the community up (also having two people on the Local Board working for the police provides a catalyst to the situation as well). So what is Williams playing at here? Caesar complex as one of his yes-men said or as I call it “Small-Man-Syndrome.”
As for the ‘Listen and Engage’ part; from what I can see with this entire Deputy Chair situation, Mr Williams is incapable beyond any doubt of fulfilling the ‘Listen and Engage’ part as mentioned above. Now while ‘Listen and Engage’ was implied to the politicians, bureaucrats and the ratepayer; again by virtue of extension (must look for a new term in the thesaurus) this is also implied between a Chair and Deputy Chair on a Board as well as THE ENTIRE BOARD when debating amongst themselves. However upon reading this (and I am going to take it from Whale Oil as it had a better analogy):
From Whale Oil:
One of his little band of helpers who were seeking to knife Adele White, Steve Udys also has an interesting turn of phrase:
“What I would say is he has been a little bit silly but that has nothing to do with Adele not being the right person for the job. He may have a Caesar complex but we have to live with that,”
Caesar? More like Mussolini. I wonder if Udys will now act like Brutus and knife him on the way to the meeting. Steve Udys thinks that this issue has nothing to do with Adele White, he is wrong. His contention is that Adele White is too busy to fulfil the role of Deputy Chair. Each of those board members seeking to unseat Adele White should now ask themselves how a person with a full-time senior role in a company, who is facing charges on drunk driving and failing to accompany a police officer (arrested, in other words) can possibly remain on the board, let alone chair the meeting. This isn’t a couple of beers over the limit either, this is twice the legal limit. It isn’t like Michael Williams hasn’t had problems with the bottle before.
A drunk driving, arrest resisting, board member with a Caesar complex isn’t someone we really want representing us is it?
Adele White teaches kids how to be safe on the road.
Michael Williams teaches kids how to be a drunk driver on the road.
Caesar, Mussolini, and/or Small-Man-Syndrome – whatever you want to call it – it is applying here in spades and that is unfortunate. Furthermore from what I have gathered from various electronic sources on the entire Williams situation, it has been implied that he is nothing but a bully who surrounds himself by “yes-men” in order to get HIS agenda through – not the communities agenda. Deputy Chair Adele White is being seen as the (might be lone however I doubt that) voice of outside-the-square thinking and logic in Howick community affairs. Knowing Williams suffers from S.M.S this outside-the-square thinking and logic dares to have a voice and would fly against everything Williams “stands for.” However there might be more beyond this but I can’t be certain in this entire mess come saga. Talk about a Caesar complex alright.
In my take and opinion on all things we need more people like Adele White and their outside-the-box thinking, logic and voice – who get the job done in benefit on their communities; and less people like Michael Williams who are nothing but absolute bullies and counter productive to real and true progression of their communities (due to often advancing things to their own personal gain). Does Michael Williams hold the Honesty and Integrity required to be a Civic Leader? The answer is NO.
Time to go Mr Williams, before your poison spreads and damages the rest of C&R in Auckland as well as detracting the main four C&R Councillors from doing their jobs.
The Howick Local Board needs its absolute resources and dedication with a clear conscious and voice that can handle robust debate and outside-the-square thinking as the Unitary Plan comes rocking to all of our doors. You Mr Williams cloud that conscious and voice and could do very well irreparable damage to Howick due to your “short-comings” that can not be fixed and lack of proper judgement and responsibility in your mistakes (drunk driving and resisting arrest).
Your Caucus Leader, Councillor Chris Fletcher spells out the such high risk in the game that is called The Unitary Plan:
“Been pondering over summer why Auckland Council is hell bent on accommodating an extra million people. Auckland’s relatively small (internationally speaking) population gives us a natural competitive advantage. Leaves me wondering about the drivers of the Unitary Plan.”
And I’ll further add to the weight of Councillor Fletcher’s concern:
“The current Stats NZ population clock has us I believe just shy of 1.5m people. Current conservative and “normal” projections have Auckland at 2 million by 2032-ish while high end has 2 million by 2024-ish. I believe it is a case of when and not if (this is the 5th attempt to get this section edited) we get to 2 million – so I suppose Council is being prudent in its planning via The Unitary Plan for it.
However what needs to be watched is Council “forcing” growth (to suit an (usually failed) agenda rather than allowing growth to happen at a more natural and organic rate (leave what be) and planning around that.
How the heck can Howick trust you now Mr Williams when (to me and as I expect my Civic Leaders to have regardless of “jurisdiction” crap) when this entire mess shows you clearly have no honesty and integrity in you to execute the responsibilities of Local Board Chair when your community is staring down the barrel of the Unitary Plan to which Councillor Fletcher, and myself have just vividly pointed out.
If you Mr Williams acted with that honesty and integrity as so demanded from us to you, forgiveness would have been easier to ascertain and moving forward much easier than what is here now regardless of which way the courts would have swung (although resisting arrest deserves one massive ass-kicking by every person living in your community).
But now we have this 6pm meeting tonight – in Howick to which I am going to trundle along and watch. Lets see if you Mr Williams will using this final shot to act honestly and with integrity and stand down as Chair of the Howick Local Board until your date with the Courts are over…
[insert Tui Ad and pigs fly remark here]