|Inside City Council
A personal view,
by Councillor Andrew Hollis
Just when the council is supposed to be coming together on behalf of ratepayers to make positive change ....one of our first orders of business was to gift a massive pay rise to a select few. This councillor gig must seem pretty great to those looking in!
It is not surprising that the councillors who supported the motion all benefitted financially from it. Credit must be given to councillors Morris and Kiddie who voted against themselves getting a large increase. Myself, Robson and Grainger also voted against. The Mayor who had the deciding vote after he successfully split and divided his very first important vote succeeded in increasing the pay of his chosen appointees.
The mayor has made it obvious that as he is now the sole decider on chairmanships and that he holds their increased remuneration solely in his hands. I fear for independence of the councillors and their ability to act as independent representatives of voters.
During proceedings the Mayor used central government as an example of pay structure with the example of backbenches getting paid significantly less than cabinet members. What the mayor seems to not understand is that each and every councillor got in on his/her own agenda and platform, and are not part of the ‘Tenby Party’. The Mayor having such control over the remuneration of other councillors is not ideal.
I welcome a diverse and broad church of ideas where each and every councillor is free to disagree. Councillors should be free of any fear that thwarting the mayor may result in a massive pay cut.
As some of you know I am a passionate freedom of speech advocate and I will continue to hold self-interested councillors to account. I am generously paid for the role and would not expect an extra $12,000 for just 9-10 short meetings a year to discuss an agenda for another meeting.
How many people struggling under increasing rates every year could do with that sort of money for just a few hours work per year?
It appears that naïve new councillors have fallen at the first hurdle and been influenced by more seasoned politicians.
I firmly believe that councillors should be beholden to voters and voters alone. And not a Mayor or deputy Mayor with the power over wages for elected officials.