Hamilton city councillors are being warned by mayor Andrew King over personal attacks against each other in advance of this year's local government elections
In his chair's report due to be presented on Thursday at the first council meeting of 2019, Mr King says it was excellent to see people stating their early intentions to run for council at the elections, but recent public commentary had been inappropriate.
"There is no issue to vocalise to the public the view or voting record of another elected
member in a bid to hold them to account on an issue; yet, anything that attacks a councillor personally will be frowned upon by Hamiltonians.
"I remind everyone that we have a job to do as elected members, to represent the views of the community and vote as we see fit on issues," Mr King says in his report.
"Ultimately the Hamilton Kirikiriroa voter will judge our performance and voting record
accordingly at election time. Until then, I expect councillors to act with decorum and rise
above cheap political point scoring and focus on running the city."
The chair's report is a regular part of monthly council meetings.
In recent weeks several current elected members have made public comments about council matters and so far three have said they will stand for mayor - Mr King, Angela O'Leary and James Casson.
Last week, Hamilton city councillor Rob Pascoe made a code of conduct complaint against councillor Geoff Taylor following Mr Taylor's contribution to an ongoing debate about a so-called Mayor's 'tight five' voting bloc in the council debating chamber.
Mr Taylor had been responding to councillor James Casson's claim that there was such a bloc and this year's elections offered an opportunity to get rid of it.
Mr Taylor blasted the claim, and told Hamilton News that he had heard other councillors, including Mr Pascoe, use the term.
However, Mr Pascoe responded saying that he had never used the term before, and has now laid a code of conduct complaint against Mr Taylor and the comments he made about Mr Pascoe.
"Everyone is entitled to a view of what they think is happening in council. I have never used the term 'tight five' and that is what really annoyed me the most," Mr Pascoe said.
"Politics means that groups can form, and that is just the way it is, and they could well say that there is a group of James, Paula, Angela, Leo and myself who will sometime vote against a proposal that could have come from the mayor, but that does not mean I am anti to what the mayor is doing."
Mr Taylor said this week he was frustrated at the continuing push of the whole 'tight five' line.
"Most of my comments were actually aimed at James Casson. I responded because I was tired of Casson pushing the same old line," Mr Taylor said.
"I'd prefer to get on with getting things done for the city such as fine turning two hours free parking and leading the River Plan Task Force than wasting time with complaints like this."
Mr Pascoe, who is the deputy chair of the finance committee, has yet to decide on whether he will run again for council, but said all the cards are still on the table for him.
"I thought I might not run, but everything is currently on the table on what options I might take. I'm just watching to see who is lining up, particularly on the mayoralty job."
"We've got three definite contenders now, and Geoff Taylor has made some noises that he may have a go."
Mr Pascoe said that Angela O'Leary's own decision to run to mayor is at the right time in her political career.
"She has matured greatly since my first appearance on council, she is a good debater, and chairs meetings very well. I think she got some of the attributes we need in the mayor and works well with people."
He said the current council now needs to move into sixth gear, to not leave unfinished business for the next council.
Nominations for 2019 local body elections open on July 19, and polls close on October 12.