Ōtaki Ward Councillor James Cootes has been appointed to the key role of chairing the Strategy and Operations Committee at Kāpiti Coast District Council.
The committee is an amalgamation of the Strategy and Policy Committee, which James previously chaired, and the Operations and Finance Committee. The mayor, all councillors and a Māori-appointed member with voting rights are all members of the new committee. The deputy chair is new councillor Gwynn Compton.
The committee deals with decision-making that is not the responsibility of the council, including setting and approving the policy and strategy work programme, approval of non-budgeted expenditure, financial policies and operational aspects of bylaws.
James says there are some challenges ahead.
"I’m looking forward to what will be a challenging role with topics like the beach bylaw and coastal adaptation needing to be addressed,” he says "We’ve got a good mix on council and working together can achieve some good outcomes for our communities."
James also has responsibility for the transport portfolio after Mayor K Gurunathan announced the council's governance structure and committee memberships for the next three years, at the council's first formal meeting on November 7.
The responsibilities for Ōtaki’s two other councillors are: Angela Buswell – Business and Jobs portfolio, Cycleway Walkway and Bridleway Advisory Group, Friends of the Ōtaki River, and Accessibility Advisory Group; Jackie Elliott – Waste portfolio, Regional Waste Forum, and Waste Minimisation Task Force.
Mayor Guru, also an Ōtaki resident, has responsibilities for Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, Regional Transport Joint Committee Older Persons Council, and Regional Strategy Joint Committee.
The council has four council sub-committees. The Audit and Risk Sub-committee will have an Independent chair appointed and membership includes the mayor, deputy mayor, deputy chair Angela Buswell and Gwynn Compton. The sub-committee monitors council’s financial management and reporting systems and has oversight to ensure sound audit and risk processes are in place.
The Grants Allocation Sub-committee will include the mayor and councillors Janet Holborow, Rob McCann and Martin Halliday, with Jackie Elliott appointed as chair and Bernie Randall as deputy chair.
The committee assesses applications and allocates council’s grants from its five grant programmes.
The mayor will chair the Appeals Hearing Sub-committee for hearing legislative appeals or objections, and the Chief Executive Performance and Employment Sub-committee, which includes all councillors. Jocelyn Prvanov is deputy chair with Janet Holborow and James Cootes as members.
Cr Janet Holborow has been appointed to a second term as deputy mayor.
The new councillor portfolio roles are: Cultural Wellbeing (including Arts), Three Waters – Janet Holborow; Social Wellbeing, Housing – Rob McCann; Climate, Youth – Sophie Handford; Seniors, Health – Martin Halliday; Environmental Wellbeing – Jocelyn Prvanov; Business and Jobs – Angela Buswell; Transport – James Cootes; Economic Wellbeing, Rural, Greater Wellington Regional Council – Gwynn Compton; Waste – Jackie Elliott.