When I first saw the proposed portfolios for the Rotorua Lakes Council one thing stood out to me. The three councillors affiliated with the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Association were nowhere to be seen.
The portfolios were adopted and the absence of the RDRR councillors from portfolios and leadership roles prevailed.
This week, mayor Steve Chadwick defended her appointment choices, saying it was her role to build a "positive team" to take the district forward.
This was in response to Rotorua Lakes councillor Reynold Macpherson labelling the mayor's leadership "authoritarian".
Macpherson says he believes the mayor is freezing out elected members belonging to his lobby group, Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers (RDRR), by denying them leadership appointments — and the pay rises that go with them.
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But, in my opinion, it is obvious why the mayor's "positive team" did not include RDRR members.
The rift between mayor Steve Chadwick and the association members, particularly the secretary Macpherson, is long-running and well documented by the Rotorua Daily Post.
It's no wonder to me that Chadwick does not want its affiliated councillors on her "positive team".
In an ideal world, all elected members would be working together happily for the common good of the people.
But that's never going to happen. It's not how politics works. And we do need dissent on council - especially if it is justified.
Listening to a live stream of one of the first council meetings of the term, I was impressed with how newcomer Sandra Kai Fong expressed her views.
It seems as if she will be unswayed by others, stand by her ideals and what she thought is right, provide support when needed and dissent when justified.
Chadwick must have felt the same way, because Kai Fong has stepped straight into the role of deputy chairwoman of the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee and the lead on both economic development and sport and recreation.
In any business or organisation, the leader - manager, owner or mayor - needs like-minded leaders around them.
They need people with a similar vision, people who can question decisions but in the right way and for the right reasons - but ultimately still support the boss and their overall strategy and direction.
While Peter Bentley, Raj Kumar and Macpherson have a right to be upset, given their experiences on and off the council, I understand why Chadwick wants a positive lead team around her.
Chadwick, in my opinion, is perfectly within her rights. Democracy remains intact: The RDRR councillors will still get to have their say at the council table and in public.