Bevy of heavies

20/01/2014

He’s referring to the security guards who were present when Auckland mayor Len Brown opened a new transport station on Saturday.

. . . Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer says ratepayers need to be assured they are not paying for guards to protect the mayor from peaceful demonstrators protesting against his personal actions. He says ratepayers should not be paying for guards to protect the mayor while he battles personal issues.

“The fact is that wherever this man goes there’s always going to be a few hecklers, a few peaceful demonstrators and that’s no justification for bringing in the heavies and putting them on the public payroll.”

Mr Brewer says the guards would be justified if a genuine risk or threat had been directed at Mr Brown.

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office has confirmed the guards at Saturday’s event were paid for by Auckland Transport – a division of the council. . .

The affair which is the cause of this might be private but the fallout is public and it’s costing the public.


11 -10 against Brown on living wage

31/12/2013

The people of Auckland should be very grateful to Councillor Cameron Brewer for moving what is a contender for the motion of the year:

“That the Governing Body agrees that Auckland Council first and foremost prepare a remuneration policy in the 2014/15 financial year, and as part of that policy work fully investigate the costs and wider implications on the organisation, business community and region of the Living Wage policy and have the CE back to the Governing Body at a later date.”

The motion was seconded by Dick Quax and passed by 11 votes to 10.

It is ridiculous to effectively raise the minimum wage to the level supposedly needed for a family of four to have a reasonable life.

Those families would be little if any better off because any gains in their wages would be offset by reductions in Working for Families payments.

The ones who would gain would be single, mostly young, workers, many of whom would be part-timers.

Aucklanders should be grateful that a majority, albeit a slim one, of the council have the good sense to require a thorough investigation of the costs and implications before committing a large sum of money to implementing the policy.

This was a big defeat for mayor Len Brown who campaigned on introducing a living wage.

But it’s a win for the city and its people.


Censured but not responsible

19/12/2013

Auckland mayor Len Brown has been censured by his council.

The Auckland Council has agreed 15-5 to censure mayor Len Brown.

Those opposed were councillors Brewer, Cooper, Krum, Quax and Stewart. 

Mr Brown has been asked back into the meeting to respond.

He says he accepts the resolution.

The council wants him to repay the costs incurred.

The council had been debating the following motion: a “request that the mayor make full reimbursement of all remaining personal costs and also make an appropriate contribution to other costs incurred by the council.”

Councillor Cameron Brewer asked for legal costs to be added. . .

The Taxpayers’ Union responded:

If Len Brown won’t pay back the money ratepayers have been forced to fork out, councillors should explore legal channels to recover the money,” saysTaxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams.  . .

“Though there is no legal punishment for Brown’s breaches of the Council’s code of conduct, instead of being upfront, the Council needed an independent review of the Mayor’s behaviour to get to the truth. The Council should take all steps to recover the costs to ratepayers.”

“If Mr Brown wants to be responsible for all of Auckland, the least he can do is be responsible for his own behaviour.”

It’s so much easier being responsible for a city spending other people’s money than one’s own behaviour which requires spending one’s own money.


Councillors to move no-confidence in Brown

18/12/2013

Five Auckland councillors have plan to put forward a motion of no-confidence in mayor Len Brown at a council meeting tomorrow.

Howick representatives Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart, Maungakiekie-Tamaki representative Denise Krum, Orakei representative Cameron Brewer and Waitakere representative Linda Cooper have initiated the motion.

The question which will be put forward and voted on is:

“That the Governing Body notes that Len Brown lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility and as a result councillors have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as Mayor of Auckland.” . . .

This is a serious step reflecting the seriousness with which at least some of the council view the mayor’s behaviour and shows they understand that judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility matter.


Mayor’s office $10,000/day

25/02/2013

It costs around $10,000 to run the office of Auckland mayor Len Brown.

Total annual expenditure for its second year increased 8.3% and travel costs were up by 435%.

Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer requested the official information for the second year running. He says the Mayor is clearly not walking his talk of council constraint and cut-backs.
 
“He’s going around assuring people that he’s supposedly prudent, but his own office costs point to some worrying escalation in the past couple of years. . .

“This is not any ordinary office, this is a ratepayer-funded campaign machine and people wonder why no one’s prepared to stand against him and his army of advisors and consultants.”

This is New Zealand’s biggest local authority but the size and cost of the office seem to be excessive.

I wonder how these figures compare on a per capita basis with other local authorities.

 

 


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