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Geoff Kenny resignation triggers council by-election

Geoff Kenny resignation triggers council by-election

ROTORUA 30.08.11: District councillor Geoff Kenny has formally resigned from Rotorua District Council triggering a pre-Christmas by-election.

In his letter of resignation Mr Kenny said it had been a pleasure and a privilege to have served on the council for the past seven years.

He extended his “sincere thanks” to the mayor and fellow councillors, and to chief executive Peter Guerin and staff for the “assistance and friendship” he had received during his time as a councillor.

The by-election to replace Mr Kenny will be held by postal vote with Polling Day set for Thursday 17 November. Votes have to be received before 12 noon on Polling Day to be included in the official count.

Rotorua District Council’s Corporate & Customer Services group manager Jean-Paul Gaston said a by-election was the only option available for filling the vacancy on the council under current legislation. He said the timing was also set under this legislation as the by by-election had to take place within 82 days of a resignation being received.

The timetable for the by-election is:

Wednesday 31 August - nominations and rolls open
Wednesday 28 September - nominations and rolls close 12 noon
Tuesday 25 October - delivery of voting papers starts
Sunday 30 October - last day for delivery of voting papers
Thursday 3 November - special voting starts
Thursday 17 November - polling closes 12 noon

Mr Gaston said he expected the electoral officer to be able to announce preliminary results of the by-election later in the afternoon on Polling Day (17 November), with a formal declaration of final results to follow five days later on 22 November.

Mayor Kevin Winters said Mr Kenny had been an active and conscientious councillor who had served the community well during the two and a half terms he had spent on the council.

“Geoff’s always been a straight shooter who says things as he sees them. He could always be relied on to contribute constructively to a debate, often bringing his special brand of humour to the table and injecting a little levity into some of those long serious meetings.”

Mr Winters said the council had yet to consider replacements for the roles Mr Kenny held as a councillor, including airport company director, statutory hearings commissioner and membership of other committees and working parties.

Chief executive Peter Guerin also paid tribute to Mr Kenny describing him as someone who was always prepared to listen to the various sides of a debate and not afraid to shift his stance if necessary.

“I am particularly appreciative of the respect and support Geoff has given to the staff of the council and we all extend our best wishes to him in his new life in Wellington.”

ENDS

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