More than 50 years of combined community service and institutional knowledge has been honoured and farewelled at a poignant penultimate Hamilton City Council meeting.
The ceremonial affair saluted outgoing councillors Dave Macpherson, who has served 24 years on Council; Martin Gallagher, 21 years; Rob Pascoe, nine years and Mark Bunting, six years.
The Councillors have all opted to stand down ahead of next month’s local government elections.
All four were chairs of Council committees this term (Macpherson – Strategic Growth, Gallagher – Environment, Pascoe – Finance, Bunting – Community) – yet another indication of the legacy they’ll leave behind, says Chief Executive, Lance Vervoort.
Mr Vervoort has paid tribute to the dedication each departing Councillor had shown to Hamilton and the constituents they have represented over the years.
“I’d like to acknowledge your commitment and all that you have achieved whilst you have been on Council,” he said.
“Your sage advice has been invaluable and much appreciated.
“We are definitely losing a lot of experience and you are all leaving some big shoes to fill! I wish you all the best for the future and what you do beyond Council.”
He also recognised the work of all Elected Members during the last Council term.
“A big ‘thank you’ to the whole Council for all your hard work, long hours and for working as a dedicated team over the past three years to improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians during what has been an extraordinary and challenging time. Probably the most difficult in living memory.”
“As a governance wing, you have had robust discussion and debate on many challenging matters. The way the Council has been bold, ambitious, adaptable, inclusive, solution-focussed and forward thinking has seen us make immense progress on achieving our five priorities in the 10-Year Plan whilst taking a long-term view to the city’s needs and aspirations.
“In my view you can all be proud of what has been achieved and I know staff are also proud to have worked as part of this team in making our city a better place.”