As a experienced Councillor, I've never in the past had a desire to stand for Mayor – I've been happy to work for the City in areas like transport, community affairs and recreation, where I had good knowledge & background.
But the current regime in Council has discarded the experience of Councillors, and tried to turn the organisation into an pale imitation of a corporate outfit, with huge management salaries, and a so-called governance board that rubberstamps management decisions.
Hamilton is growing fast – and it needs a Mayor who will stand up for it, not one who will quibble about the small points, but effectively let lawyers and managers decide how to run the Council.
We have become an organisation that knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
We must think of our children and grandchildren – Hamilton needs:
· more playgrounds and recreation facilities for young people
· fairer treatment for Council staff
· fairer wages and salaries
· much better transport systems
· better deals for arts, heritage and the environment
· no water metering
· no sale of vital community assets
I am fiercely independent, and will back the ‘little person’ when they need support.
Residents and ratepayers deserve more than the lawyers’ bare minimum of consultation on important issues – I will see this happens. Ruakura and Templeview developments are good in the long run, but residents' rights should not be ridden roughshod over to get there. Heritage concerns need much better consultation with the whole community. Elected members must have a much better handle
Council must also be financially efficient – this doesn’t mean acting like a large corporate – it means representing the community. Your elected members are put there to do a job - I will see that they all have jobs to do, not just monthly meetings to rubberstamp managers’ decisions.
We must reconsider rate rises above the level of cost increases we face – we have learnt from past mistakes, and are controlling spending and debt – more of this gain needs to be felt by ratepayers. There are still many opportunities to think of the future and develop and support community infrastructure.