Hamilton City Council has temporarily passed decision-making powers to its chief executive Richard Briggs while the Council remains in lock-down.
Councillors today unanimously agreed to extend the chief executive’s delegations so he can make key decisions necessary to keep the city going.
The delegation will only be in place until the full Council is able to meet again, or until the law is changed which forces at least seven councillors to be physically together to vote.
Mayor Paula Southgate said the decision was a practical response to an unprecedented situation. Elected members had sought and received “concrete assurances” that councillor input would still be sought as much as practicably possible before decisions were taken, she said.
The delegation does not include the power to make a rate or bylaw, borrow money or purchase or dispose of assets, other than in accordance with Council’s Long-term Plan.
Mr Briggs would be unable to adopt a Long-term Plan, Annual Plan or Annual Report.
“This is simply about keeping the city functioning until things return to normal,” Mayor Southgate said.
“Importantly, we will still have elected member oversight and input into what’s going on, but we have the ability to be agile and keep doing the immediate business that needs to be done.”
“We will continue to have very regular communication with all elected members. Councillors will continue to have a strong voice and be the main driver of key decisions.”