The Weekend Sun Column - 15th July 2016
JOHN ROBSON on Tauranga City Council...
Nominations have now opened for the Local Government elections.
If elected, over the three-year term, a TCC Councillor will be paid more than $200,000 – the Mayor will be paid more than $400,000.
Yet, there is no qualifi cation or experience required. All they have to do is convince enough voters to vote for them.
And, here is the ‘fine print’. Candidates can make whatever claims, assertions and promises they like to get votes – subject only to the constraints of the law relating to defamation and libel.
Once elected – they are their own boss. No-one can tell them what to do – and it is almost impossible to get fired.
Speaking personally, I think it is a crazy way to appoint what is (in eff ect) the ‘Board’ of Tauranga City Council.
This Board is responsible for the successful running of Tauranga City Council – which, in turn, has a signifi cant impact on the success of the City of Tauranga.
The City Council has assets of over $3 billion – and turns over in excess of $200 million.
A City Council is not a school gala cake stall. Indeed, it was recently described as one of the most complex businesses in New Zealand.
Yet no one is responsible for checking a candidate’s competence, the truth of their claims or the value of their promises.
So voters are on their own. It is up to the voter to vet the candidates.
Which again is a little crazy – given research shows most voters have little understanding of what a Council does. And even less of what a Councillor does.
So, over the next twelve weeks, I will try to provide some facts, evidence, and truth to help voters make an informed choice.
After all, it is your city.