Key Points:

    The full council should decide whether the CEO should get a pay rise.

It is highly likely that the court of public opinion will rule that the Hastings District Council has made a shambles of the pay review process of its chief executive Ross McLeod.

Some councillors were not aware that a special council chairmen's committee had given Mr McLeod a two per cent salary increase to take effect from February this year.

The first some of them knew about it was when they read it in this paper last month. It seems as if our story prompted the acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst to decide that from now on all councillors be responsible for both reviewing the CEO's performance and pay. This is a good thing as decisions like this cannot be taken lightly.


Read more: Disquiet over council decision prompts process change

Not wanting to put words in our readers' mouths, but there are many out there who believe that the chief executive who was in charge of operations when the Havelock North water crisis hit, should not be receiving any increase.

Now, this is not to suggest that he personally was responsible for the crisis, but it happened on his watch. The job of chief executive of any business is a demanding role and that is why the salaries are high enough to recognise this. When times are good they are rewarded, but when things go wrong they carry the can.

To be fair, Mr McLeod did, along with the then-mayor Lawrence Yule, apologise the weekend after the outbreak. He probably also offered to resign.

While there are some who believe he should have been allowed to do so, there are others who will accept that his overall performance over the years has been good. Maybe Mr McLeod deserved the increase, having not received one for three years.

However, each councillor, guided by his or her constituents, should play a role in making that decision. It is what the voters expect.