Today's Herald article confirms the Mayor had installed a personal gym in his office. Rumours of this have been circulating in Auckland Council since the beginning.
The culture of an organisation reflects the values of those in charge. The culture in Council is one of profligacy and a disregard for those who foot the bill, the ratepayers.
Auckland ratepayers have paid $5200 to provide a personal gym for Mayor Len Brown in the Auckland Town Hall.
Arrangements were made for the equipment to be delivered to the Town Hall, where Mr Brown is based, on December 10. Five days later Mr Wilson thanked Mr Maxwell, saying he was not expecting new equipment but it looked great and "Len is very happy". Manukau Leisure Services organised for a fitness trainer to come to the Town Hall to show Mr Brown how to use the equipment on January 17, 2011, and offered a four- to eight-week appointment schedule.
Another worrying sign this was a wasteful mayor was the number of PR men and women in his personal entourage. If someone is getting on with the mundane, but essential, task of establishing a robust organisation that can deliver the goods they don’t have time for such fripperies like ‘Mayor in the Chair’. This was, and continues to be, a pure PR exercise achieving nothing except photo opportunities for the mayor himself.
A further sign that it’s all about him rather than a well run city was his failure to take the role of Local Boards seriously. It took an experienced politician like Faye Storer to concentrate the collective mind of the organisation into giving teeth to the implicit role of the boards envisioned in the Act establishing the new Auckland Council. If he'd had his way the Mayor was going to get around to dealing with the role of the Local Boards sometime during his second term.
This is a Mayor who has lost the trust of the people he represents. He has done that all by himself. There’s a limit to how much wool he and his spinners can pull over our eyes. The blinkers are off. We can see only too clearly the emperor has no clothes, although his muscles are looking well developed.