By-election as Lischner quits

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Ashburton Licensing Trust (ALT) is preparing for a by-election after the resignation of board member Jim Lischner.

Mr Lischner, who was re-elected in October 2016, resigned on May 18, citing personal reasons and a wish to “focus on, and prioritise, his family and retirement plans”.

Going forward, ALT would notify the returning officer of the need for an election and would be advertising for nominations, said Ashburton Trust general manager Rob Reid.

If Mr Lischner’s resignation had come within 12 months of a new election (October 2019), then a by-election would not have been necessary and the next highest candidate from the 2016 election would have been asked to join the board, he said.

Mr Reid said an election could not be avoided in this case and could cost ALT in the region of $35,000.

“Obviously, if there is only one nomination, then the costs involved will be much less and minimal,” he said.

ALT’s board meets monthly and board members receive a cost reimbursement of $280 per meeting.

ALT chairman Fay Watson said the trust’s hands were tied in this case.

The board sincerely thanked Mr Lischner for his wisdom, guidance and business acumen over the last four years.

He had been an integral part in helping the board on its way to a new business model.

Mrs Watson said she hoped a new board member would be in place by September, when the ALT board would focus on developing a new strategic plan.

“With the change to our landlord business model, this plan will give us the chance to set the future to some extent.

“We will be looking at strategies that will best support the community.”

Ashburton Trust now has just general manager Rob Reid and two part time staff in it current head office in Somerset House.

Negotiations are under way to rent out that 287m2 space and for those staff to move to a much smaller (70m2) office on the floor above.