DCC: Appointing a new chief executive

Cr John Bezett contacted ODT yesterday concerned the recruitment process was being rushed.

### ODT Online Sat, 9 Nov 2013
Picking council CEO gets tense
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull faces a fresh political scrap with some of his councillors over the search for the Dunedin City Council’s next chief executive. The political sniping began after Mr Cull told the Otago Daily Times on Thursday he expected a replacement for outgoing chief executive Paul Orders to be confirmed by November 21 “at the very latest”.
Read more

CORRESPONDENCE
Four forwarded messages – individual email addresses removed. -Eds

I

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:55:45 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Cc: Mayor Dave Cull, Kate Wilson, Richard Thomson, Chris Staynes, John Bezett, Lee Vandervis, Hilary Calvert, Doug Hall, Andrew Whiley, Aaron Hawkins, Mike Lord, David Benson-Pope, Neville Peat, Andrew Noone, Jinty MacTavish
Conversation: Paul Orders appointment process
Subject: Re: Paul Orders appointment process

Hi Chris,

I share Councillor Bezett’s concerns and have emailed staff to find out what has happened. [See forwarded email that follows]
The shortest-ever DCC CEO search process which ran with its first ad on 28th September but with applications closing two weeks later on 11th of October remains a great concern, suggesting predetermination and effectively preventing input into the CEO job description and search process by the 7 new Council members.
Today’s further rush in letting CEO Orders go before his 3 month contractual let-out seems to be another example of Mayoral decisions fast-tracking the CEO search process, and failing to get the most from CEO Orders before he goes.
I believe that all of these decisions should be all of Council decisions, as the appointment of a CEO is the supremely important and only staff appointment that Councillors are supposed to make.

Cheers,
Lee

On 8/11/13 2:06 PM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:

Hi Lee,

John Bezett rang me today to express concern at the Mayor’s comments (reported in today’s paper) on the recruitment process to replace Paul Orders. Cull said he hoped for an announcement by the 21st “at the very latest”. Bezett says that’s rushing it, it’s impracticable, unseemly, etc and he doubts the recruitment process can be concluded by then. He won’t comment on what he thinks is behind the apparent rush, though.

You’ve obviously already made your views clear on this, but I’m seeking comment from all councillors on whether they share those concerns or not – feel free to comment today…

Chris.

—— End of Forwarded Message

II

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:57:56 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Cc: Mayor Dave Cull, Kate Wilson, Richard Thomson, Chris Staynes, John Bezett, Lee Vandervis, Hilary Calvert, Doug Hall, Andrew Whiley, Aaron Hawkins, Mike Lord, David Benson-Pope, Neville Peat, Andrew Noone, Jinty MacTavish
Conversation: CEO leaving before contracted 3 month period
Subject: FW: CEO leaving before contracted 3 month period

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:37:16 +1300
To: Sandy Graham [DCC], Paul Orders [DCC]
Conversation: CEO leaving before contracted 3 month period
Subject: Re: CEO leaving before contracted 3 month period

Hi Cindy,

Hopefully Paul will know.

Cheers,
Lee

On 8/11/13 9:00 AM, “Sandy Graham” [DCC] wrote:

Hi Lee

Sandy is out of the office today (and I’m keeping an eye on her inbox), and won’t see your email until she returns on Monday. Can anyone else assist with this?

Cheers
Cindy

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Friday, 8 November 2013 8:04 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: CEO leaving before contracted 3 month period
Importance: High

Hi Sandy,

Can you please forward to me any Council decision or paperwork which allows or agrees that CEO Orders does not have to fulfil his contractual termination of employment 3 month obligation.
Asap would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Lee

—— End of Forwarded Message
—— End of Forwarded Message

III

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:38:44 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Conversation: CEO appointment process
Subject: Re: CEO appointment process

Hi Chris,

Far from being vexatious, I have simply and factually highlighted and questioned the differences in the current CEO appointment process from the last process that gave us CEO Orders.

Last time all Councillors were invited to comment on and add to the CEO job description [I believe my suggestion specifying a ‘transformational CEO’ was taken up then], and there was plenty of time for potential applicants to be aware of the CEO vacancy, to research DCC, its issues and Dunedin generally, and to make a considered application for the job.

This time we were told in the same non-public meeting where we heard of the shock resignation of CEO Orders, that the process to recruit a replacement CEO was to be fast-tracked for applications to be closed by 11th October, the day before the election result. Council voted for and I had my vote against this proposal recorded. A less rushed search process could have given our 7 new Councillors some opportunity to input into the CEO job description, and timelines.
Advertising for the recruitment process went out on the 28th of September giving only two weeks for applicants to become aware of the recruitment, to research and to get their applications in. I believe this to be the shortest CEO search period in our history. No credible reason for such a short CEO search period has been given despite my questions. I am sorry if my questions are interpreted by Mayor Cull as inappropriate or vexatious.
I have been keen to avoid any suggestion of predetermination in the CEO search process and I am keen to give the very widest range of candidates time to apply, since we desperately need another truly remarkable CEO to continue the work that CEO Orders has started.
Today I tried to get Council to extend the CEO search process, but was unsuccessful.

I remain content that at least I tried to get a CEO search process more like the last one.

Cheers,
Lee

IV

—— Forwarded Message
From: Dave Cull
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 20:16:03 +1300
To: All Elected Members
Subject: CEO changeover

Colleagues,
In response to Cr Bezett’s apparent concerns there will presumably be an article about the CEO appointment process in the ODT tomorrow.
Here for your information is the process as it has unfolded. During the past week the CEO Appointments Committee has met twice. We have interviewed all the “long list” candidates and will meet again on Monday 11th Nov to confirm the “short list”. The committee is satisfied we have a choice of appointable
candidates. The short-listed candidates will be interviewed by all of Council and a final choice made on the 16th November as resolved at the Council meeting of 29th October. Additionally, after the meeting of 29th October I received a request from the CEO that contingent on a successful appointment being made, he be released from the last month of his notice period to take up his new position in Cardiff. His desire for early departure is largely for family reasons and as I felt it was a reasonable
request I acceded to it. A closer examination of delegations showed me I needed to bring this to Council for approval, and I will do that on the 16th November.

Regards:

Dave

—— End of Forwarded Message

Related Posts and Comments:
8.11.13 DCHL, long wait for review (Larsen sighs)
29.10.13 DCC: First meeting, tidy or not
25.10.13 Dunedin: “no-growth city”
24.10.13 DCC in-house catering, pruned like CCC?
14.10.13 DCC: New chief financial officer
29.9.13 Cull’s political party caucuses ‘in term’. Lost best chief executive we could find.
24.9.13 DCC chief executive Paul Orders recommended for Cardiff
25.5.13 Paul Orders: Dunedin or Cardiff ???
22.1.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – ‘Liability Cull’ and council chasten for election year
22.8.12 Mr Orders, sir! About your staff expertise…
19.11.11 DCC gifts and hospitality
9.11.11 Paul Orders for change!
17.9.11 Paul Orders starts Monday

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

10 responses to “DCC: Appointing a new chief executive

  1. Anonymous

    If Avery is selected from an internal appointment, then I’m leaving.

  2. I wish I could remember the quotation and who wrote it. It was along the lines of “his personality was such that when he entered a room, people looked around with the feeling that someone had left.”

  3. Lee’s vexatiousness: I think Dave now has such a well-established bug up his ass about him that if Lee says “Nice weather” or even breathes in the mayoral presence, it will be classed as vexatious behaviour.

  4. What’s the bet the decision is already made, and Mayor Cull simply wants to push it through unimpeded? If I was a betting man, I would place odds on it being from within, and female. Anyone prepared to place a ‘bid’ before the house ‘rose’? The odds will be quite good I suspect, and the choice would be both talented but also ‘biddable’.

  5. Jintyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Despite the views of many on the chief’s right-hand man, wearer of bulky necklaces…
    This is my vote of No Confidence in Rosebud.

  7. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    Of course it will be the person who was closely defeated by Paul Orders.

    It was always going to be an internal promotion once the entries had to be in so quickly and before the new council could be sworn in.

    Our problem now is that all of the council activities that go on now will continue, the chinese wall at the front desk, the four day delays to see their “clients”, the innumerable coffees in the Octagon, the car parking theft etc etc.

    Dunedin is officially doomed.

    Chicken little Has indeed arrived.

  8. ### dunedintv.co.nz November 15, 2013 – 6:43pm
    New DCC chief executive to be confirmed by Thursday
    Dunedin city councillors will meet tomorrow to interview short-listed candidates for the job of chief executive of the DCC. The 9am meeting will be held with the public excluded.
    The council’s current chief executive, Paul Orders, has been lauded a success, after making cuts to council spending without cuts to services. He resigned after a two-year stint, after landing the role of chief executive of the Cardiff council.
    His replacement is expected to be confirmed by Thursday.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

    • We will know this afternoon, who it is. Hopefully, not Jim Harland, Athol Stephens, Tony Avery or Sue Bidrose – but I’m often unlucky. With regards to conflicts of interest and his place on council, Cr Hall awaits clearance from the Auditor-general’s office.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 18 Nov 2013
      DCC to announce new chief executive
      By Debbie Porteous
      The Dunedin City Council has chosen a new chief executive. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said there had been a ”clear” winner, but would not say who it was until agreements were finalised and signed today.
      Read more

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