Ever since the Mayor announced yesterday that he was cutting back funding on essential Council services in order to pay for his obsession with the City Rail Link (CRL) he has been the butt of adverse criticism from just about every quarter.
This from the Herald today:
Aucklanders are rebelling at Mayor Len Brown's "black budget", which targets core services such as libraries and parks to pay for the $2.86 billion city rail link.
Many people are also reeling at the prospect of higher rates if Mr Brown breaks an election promise to hold rates at 2.5 per cent and goes for 3.5 per cent.
The mammoth rail project dominates the transport budget, where other public transport initiatives like rail electrification to Pukekohe, rail to the airport, a cycling network, bus improvements and the North Western busway are candidates for reduced funding or the chop.
Roading projects that may not happen include the Penlink road from Whangaparaoa to East Coast Bays and upgrading Lake Rd between Takapuna and Devonport.
UPDATE 3:23pm: There are calls for the Government to step in, to get Auckland Council through its black budget.
Deep service cuts and steep rate rises are on the table, as the council tries to slash spending by $630 million a year for the next decade.
Former North Shore mayor and current New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams told Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith it's time to call in the experts.
Back to Basics
Perhaps someone should have sent Brown to Business 101 classes before he set his ridiculous ‘vision’ for Auckland. SMART goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Does the flaccid excuse for a vision of “the world’s most liveable city” meet the SMART test? Like hell it does, and because it doesn’t he’s creating the very opposite – a planning nightmare, an increasingly racially divided community, a debt-ridden dumbed-down city with beggars littering Queen Street. That is Brown’s legacy after four years of mismanagement.
Unless he wants Auckland to be placed under statutory management as is being suggested in some circles today then far from slashing funding for core Council business such as parks, libraries and rubbish collections he should be getting rid of the ridiculous CRL project which is bleeding Auckland dry. That is NOT core business. Major transport projects of this size are the province of the government to decide for the simple reason that it is unrealistic for ratepayers (barely a third of the Auckland population) to pay for nationally significant projects that will cost many billions. And it is for the government to decide what is nationally significant as Brown has found out to his, and our, cost.
If you want to take some action and register your disapproval of this profligate Mayor you can join the 'Len Brown Must Resign' Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ResignpleaseLen
or vote at https://nz.news.yahoo.com/cloud/polls/popup/f317e76c-59b8-3dc6-b0a9-9d83b6ecd9e6/