Auckland’s problem is there is no money left to pay for local infrastructure, apart from the Mayor’s vanity project the City Rail Link, because it all goes on servicing debt and ballooning salaries. As Whaleoil comments.
The problem is two fold.
Len Brown is holding back monies in the Long Term Plan to build the rail tunnel up Albert Street. Never mind that it is benefiting very few people who use it (less than 30,000 per annum).
But the bigger problem is that Auckland is already over spending and is hard up against it’s debt ceiling.
With liquid assets of $6 billion (it doesn’t have assets of $40b – you can’t sell parks and roads) and debt that exceeds that, the Auckland Council is maxed out on its overdraft.
But remarkably it is also growing its head count at a phenomenal rate.Combined – debt and wages – use up almost all of the rates income. It is only through dividends and other income that Council has any money to spend on capital items- like libraries and pools.
Auckland’s infrastructure is rooted.
Personally I’d suggest it needs to sort that out as first priority – particularly if it wants to have a compact city.
But these Local Board’s need to pull their heads in and realise why the Council has a lack of funds.
In understanding that the smart Local Board peeps could be pushing for staff and debt reduction to free up capital for libraries and community services.
It’s no wonder our city is going broke.
Excessive spending by all, with a lack of basic financial understanding is the root of the problem.
If Local Board’s don’t get that – they are as dumb as a bag of hammers.
This Board was so supportive of the Mayor for its first six months that it handed him $1.4 million of Waiheke ratepayers’ money as a bribe for a school swimming pool. They lost the money and didn't get a school pool. Nothing better demonstrates the lack of financial understanding or the lack of understanding about how local government operates.
Clearly Local Board’s are populated by people who think money arrives at the end of a rate-payer rainbow, delivered by unicorns from a magical never ending money tree located in the far off nirvana that is Utopia.
Yep, the Gang of Five is as dumb as a bag of hammers all right.