Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt faces an uphill battle to save his job, despite the best efforts of Sideshow Bob. In the light of this debacle, is it now time to look at 'reconstructing' the Christchurch City Council as well as the city?
The campaign to remove Tony Marryatt from his position of Christchurch City Council CEO has gathered momentum with former Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite speaking to the campaign group last week.
Braithwaite often clashed with Marryatt who was, at the time, the CEO of the Hamilton City Council.
Braithwaite told the group that Marryatt had created an environment of fear and bullying' in Hamilton, and was often referred to as "the 14th councillor".
'Shortly after I was elected, he told me that he was running the city and not me ... he was an unelected bureaucrat who interfered with the order and management of the city.'
It's understood that the Council is split 7-6 in favour of reappointing Marryatt but there is pressure on Marryatt supporter and former ACT candidate Aaron Keown to withdraw from the appointment process. That would deadlock the council at 6-6, with Sideshow Bob having already reluctantly said he would take no further part in appointing the CEO.
Keown last week asked councillors if they supported Marryatt and he has also made public statements supporting him.
Keown says he is not going to withdraw from the appointment process but he may find he will forced to do because legal action will almost certainly be commenced if he doesn't and Marryatt is reappointed.
Regardless Marryatt looks like a lost cause for Sideshow Bob and his chums. Bob's faithful right hand man has managed to lose the support of nearly half of the council and significant local business interests.
At the best of times this affair would not be - in Bill English's words - 'a good look' for the Christchurch City Council but in quake-ravaged Christchurch it is very ugly indeed.
Certainly it adds weight to the argument that we should also be taking the time to reform the Christchurch City Council to bring it under the control of the people it is supposed to represent.
We require mechanisms to be make the Mayor and councillors directly accountable to the people of Christchurch.