In a move that shocked his fellow Councillors, Tim Gilbertson yesterday resigned from the Regional Council. In a meandering resignation soliloquy, here’s what Gilbertson had to say …
I can no longer pretend that I’m making a contribution on behalf of my CHB constituency to the conduct of the region’s governance. I had thought I might make it through a full three year term, but today’s point of order over who had the first right of reply on the amendment to the amendment pushed me over the edge.
I am happy to leave those matters to Eileen and Christine.
I have never really believed in the mission of the Regional Council and its ridiculous emphasis on protecting the environment. What nonsense! Time after time I have asked Council staff to produce just one dead body — from right here in Hawke’s Bay — as proof that people actually perish from sooty air or polluted water or contaminated soil … and not once has this evidence been produced.
And with the single possible exception of spending millions and millions of dollars in my district to harvest water — the best idea to hit Hawke’s Bay since refrigeration — I have yet to discover a Regional Council program that is worth spending a ratepayer dime on.
So for me to continue the charade of being a Regional Councillor is a burden I can no longer bear …
It’s like asking a vegetarian to be a butcher.
An atheist to be a pastor.
A drug dealer to be a babysitter.
Or in my case, an anarchist to be an elected official.
I apologize for deceiving the good citizens of Central Hawke’s Bay, who I might have inadvertently led to believe I was representing them as their Regional Councillor. Any reading of the proceedings of the Council will put that illusion to rest. I was just having fun.
I’ve now decided that the more honourable path would be to deride the Regional Council from the outside, rather than from within. Hopefully, I will be able to continue in my role as a columnist for BayBuzz Digest, although I suspect even they might find me over the edge.
I will also be available for hire as a salesman for super-phosphates, or as a lobbyist for water harvesting and irrigation. I hope in my lifetime to see the day when I can tramp down the middle of the Tukituki for its full length without getting my boots wet.
Naturally, I’ve thought about whether I would miss anything about being a Regional Councillor. Other than getting paid for marking time, and those terrific free lunches on Council meeting days, I can’t think of anything.”
I must confess that I am gutted to see Tim go. He was the Oscar Wilde of the Regional Council. A true wit and entertainer. But in these tough economic times, even Tim recognizes that his ratepayers deserve to get their hard-earned money’s worth.
Don’t worry Tim, there will always be a place for you at BayBuzz.