John Palino is seeking to overcome his disastrous entry into the race for the Auckland mayoralty by issuing a 93 page booklet outlining how he would achieve his main pledge of cutting rates by 10% over three years.
This will be music to the ears of Aucklanders who have seen their rates rise by over 70% on average, debt per ratepayer balloon to over $20,000 and core services cut to the bone. He is also promising increased land supply to make housing more affordable, greater accountability and transparency over Council finances, a ratepayers Bill of Rights and lower staff costs.
UPDATE: The Auckland ratepayers
John Palino's strategy to make Auckland the best city in the world
Cutting rates by 10 per cent and an attack on the ideologically driven compact city model are part of John Palino's manifesto for the Auckland mayoralty.
The New Jersey-born, New York-trained hospitality businessman has written a book, A Vision for Auckland, in the lead-up to a second tilt at the Super City mayoralty.
The 93-page book, which reads as a manifesto, outlines an alternative strategy to make Auckland the best city in the world.
"Aucklanders have not received the 'Super City dividend'," said Mr Palino who polled 108,928 votes to Len Brown's 164,338 in 2013.
"Over the last six years we have had a dysfunctional mayor and council, who have drastically increased rates, massively increased debt and imposed restrictive and expensive regulations and processes on all Aucklanders," he said.
His policies to solve the problems Auckland and Aucklanders have includes cutting rates by 10 per cent over three years, introducing an Auckland Ratepayers Bill of Rights and a Citizens Decision Review Panel to allow Aucklanders to appeal against stupid decisions made by council staff.
Mr Palino has promised to make council spending transparent and to focus on core services, promote economic growth with business friendly processes and limit iwi consultation to genuine cultural issues.
John Palino's manifesto
• Cut rates by 10 per cent over three years
• Open up more land for housing
• Build satellite CBDs in places like Manukau and Henderson
• Limit iwi consultation
• Review spending on cycleways
• Introduce an Auckland Ratepayers Bill of Rights
• For a copy of the book go to: www.palinoformayor.co.nz
Palino cites several examples of over inflated costs of Council projects and how Council rules and regulations stifle growth. He also wants to bring democracy back into Council by curbing the power of unelected represetatives.
He is outside the unseemly in-fighting among centre right groups where the meddling of Auckland Future might result in splitting the centre right vote in many wards.
Maybe it’s time for Auckland will take a leaf out of the book of current American politics and vote for a leader who presents a strong policy platform outside the establishment. If Trump can defeat his establishment Republican candidates to be the conservative alternative to face Hilary Clinton then maybe Palino can come through the middle to defeat National’s Vic Crone and Labour’s Phil Goff.
Being truly independent of party politics may be just the ticket for Auckland at this juncture.
UPDATE: The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance has issues the following media release:
RATEPAYERS' ALLIANCE WELCOME PALINO POLICIES
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is pleased another contender in the Auckland mayoral race is focusing on ratepayer interests as the major issue in the lead up to this year's Local Body Elections, and welcomes acknowledgement that the current burden of 9.9% rates increases is unacceptable with inflation running at less than 1%. Spokesperson Carmel Claridge says:
“We welcome any policy platform, from any candidate, that indicates a willingness to focus on fiscal restraint, cuts unnecessary costs, and demonstrates a firm resolution to deliver a Council working efficiently on core service delivery.”
"Mr Palino's ambitious pledge to reduce rates by 10% will resonate with many voters stretched to their financial limit by previous increases of 9.9% while seeing precious little reward from Council for the pain in the pocket.”