When left-wing Councillor Cathy Casey and right-wing George Wood unite to oppose Brown and demand a referendum for the people of Auckland on whether they are willing to be taxed to use the motorway then he’s got trouble ahead.
Auckland Councillors are uniting to ensure the people of Auckland are given the opportunity by way of referendum on the question of alternative transport funding options, including a motorway network charge.
In an historic precedent that unites left and right, Councillors George Wood and Cathy Casey are pledging to work together to ensure that the people of Auckland have a proper say in the future of how transport is funded.
Councillor Cathy Casey says: “The introduction of a motorway network charge is a huge change to the social fabric of Auckland and the public deserves to have their voice heard through a binding referendum. People are telling me that they don’t want user pays motorways and that they have already paid for their roads through their taxes. This is “highway robbery.”
Councillor George Wood says: “This proposal by Mayor Brown to toll the motorways will have an impact on certain sections of our communities and not touch others. Collecting $300 million each year will amount to a massive collection of $3 billion in revenue over ten years. All Aucklanders deserve to input their views and a full binding referendum is the only fair way to proceed.”
Councillors Casey and Wood believe that Auckland councillors will oppose the mayor on Thursday and opt for a binding referendum.
Tomorrow’s vote for a referendum, if passed, would also send a message to Council Officers that it is not they who run the city. Naturally they oppose the people having a say. Too often Councillors have followed the advice of their bureaucrats rather than listening to those who elect them. Auckland Council is run by officers who are mediocre at best. The criteria for their selection appears to have been solely that they served Brown when he was Mayor of Manukau. In a rush to ‘cleanse’ the city of experienced former Auckland City Council officials a host of second rate Manukau Mafia were appointed to positions way above their competence level. They now ‘advise’ Councillors on a host of issues.
My advice to Councillors is don’t believe a word they say, or, if you believe it, ignore it. Bureaucrats have their own agenda and don’t have to face election. You do, so stop relenting and start representing.