Hauraki Gulf forum members raised eyebrows when it was revealed the executive officer had put forward his own salary recommendations.
At its May 23 meeting, forum members were discussing the latest budget when it was revealed the executive officer Alex Rogers had recommended a $145,000 salary for himself, a $5000 a year increase.
Member Cath Handley queried whether the salary recommendation was the responsibility of the co-chairs.
She said that she was not comfortable with the process and was concerned the salary did not match market value.
“I think there should be some discretion with the co-chairs about whether that is an appropriate salary for the officer,” Handley said.
Co-chair Pippa Coom suggested the chairs be delegated to review the salary recommendation and adjust it if needed.
“This is a unique situation where we are discussing Alex’s salary in front of him. It is a bit uncomfortable,” Coom said.
Member Wayne Walker said that Auckland Council typically had a panel discussion about salaries. He suggested a salary recommendation could come back to the forum for approval, but was told by Coom that the next meeting was in August, which would be too late in the year. Member John Watson pushed back against the proposed review.
“I do not see this anywhere in your [the co-chairs] roles and responsibilities,” Watson said.
The delegation for the review was approved with three votes against from Walker, Watson and Donna Arnold.