It’s crunch time this week as Auckland Council votes on its 10 year budget which will set this year’s rates at 9.9%. The Herald says some Councillors will abstain who had previously voted for the ridiculous 100 times inflation rates rise. You can now add cowardice to the list of venal attributes of these Councillors if they do indeed abstain on Thursday’s vote in an attempt to save their hides at the next election - Cathy Casey, Ross Clow, Mike Lee, Wayne Walker, John Watson.
Brown's budget under fire
Abstainers save mayor’s 10-year plan with less than half of Auckland councillors in support.
Several Auckland councillors are expected to abstain from a budget vote this week to avoid plunging the Super City into a financial crisis.
Mayor Len Brown looks set to pass his new 10-year, $60 billion budget with less than half the votes of his council at Thursday's governing body meeting.
Six councillors are expected to vote against the budget - they are Cameron Brewer, Chris Fletcher, Denise Krum, Sharon Stewart, George Wood and Dick Quax.
The other five councillors - Cathy Casey, Ross Clow, Mike Lee, Wayne Walker and John Watson - have serious reservations about the budget.
They particularly object to a targeted rate for transport which takes average household rates increases to 9.9 per cent.
But instead of voting against the budget and plunging the council into crisis, most of the five are expected to abstain to allow the budget to pass.
If those abstainers think they can have their cake and halfpenny they need to think again. I doubt ratepayers will be so easily deceived.
Groups like the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance will be ensuring that the names of those who did not vote against this absurd budget will be in the forefront of voters minds when they elect a new Auckland Council in fifteen months time. The Alliance has issues this media release.
ABSTAINING COUNCILLORS NOT DOING THEIR JOB
Responding to the NZ Herald report that five Auckland councillors may abstain from voting on Len Brown’s budget, to introduce average rates increases of 9.9% across Auckland, Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:
“These councillors have an opportunity to prevent Len Brown’s high rates, low value agenda. To sit on the fence and watch that opportunity pass them by is not only an implicit endorsement of the Mayor’s budget but a complete abandonment of their responsibility.”
“Councillors are elected to represent the interests of ratepayers. This is the most important vote of this council’s term and instead of representation they are running for the hills. The 9.9%, when we were promised a cap of 2.5% is simply shameful and they know it.”