Deputy chair Adele White is calling for better. Good on her.

Deputy chair Adele White says disgraced Howick Local Board chairman Michael Williams doesn’t seem understand role models, nor the effect his behaviour has had on the Local Board. Good on her.

Deputy chair of the Howick Local Board Adele White addressed the disgraced chairman Michael Williams at the Board meeting last night [11 March].

Ms White, famously in these parts, stared down an attempt by the chairman to remove her as Deputy on flimsy grounds see: Bunfight at Howick Local Board.

With her permission, these are Ms White’s comments to the Board resolution of no confidence in Michael Williams as chairman, and seeking his resignation from the Howick Local Board following his conviction last month on drink-driving charges he’d kept secret since May 2012.

I heard her comments at last night’s meeting. I think they’re worth reproducing in full.

“Mr Williams:
The role of Local Board member is one of significant responsibility.

In placing their votes accordingly, our community are putting their trust and faith in each of us, in the hope that we will represent their wishes, their issues and their financial contribution fairly, honestly and democratically.

The honour that comes with being an elected member must at all times be respected and upheld. This means that our behaviour both whilst participating in Board activities and in our other walks of life must be beyond reproach.

We often underestimate the significance of ourselves as role models to others in the community – especially our youth.

Michael – I don’t believe that you have considered this; or the effect that your behaviour has had on our Board at all.

I think back to the days after the last elections when you were phoning around looking for support as you so desperately wanted the role of chairperson. I pointed out that your reputation of being obstinate, and being a bully preceded you, but you assured us all that you would work for the board. You also invited me to feel free, as your Deputy, to keep you in check.

My comments have forever fallen on deaf ears. Sadly – you are still known as a bully.

In these last two and a half years you have contributed to some of the good work this Board has done.

However at the same time you have been convicted of drinking and driving which you concealed from the Board.

You have undermined the intelligence and capability of other Board members by continually underestimating and interfering in their work.

You have facilitated a personal attack on my role within the Howick Local Board causing considerable stress to me; and ultimately bringing unwarranted attention to our Board.

You have manipulated members of the Board into a split. It is often evident that some of them are avidly supporting your resolutions with absolutely no knowledge of why. This is not indicative of the fair and democratic process we seek.

You have not seen fit to follow up on the resolution that was passed at our meeting on 21st January that would have the Board exploring ways that they might work together more effectively. I see that as sheer arrogance.

I hope that the outcome of this evening’s meeting brings change which will make the last six months of this Board’s term constructive, progressive, open, fair and a darn sight more pleasurable than it has been of late.”

As I reported, last night the Howick Local Board passed a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Michael Williams as chairman, but failed to pass a further resolution seeking his resignation — as chairman or from the Board itself.

It seems Mr Williams’ ignominious ‘leadership’ limps on for now.

A better man would have resigned a long time ago, in my opinion. A better Board would have insisted he step down.

– P