Councillor against Mayor meeting ratepayers

March 26th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Daniel Adams at the Waikato Times reports:

Hamilton’s mayor is being accused of using mayoral forums to electioneer ahead of this year’s election – a claim she rejects.

Mayor Julie Hardaker also rejected the claim that ratepayers are helping fund her re-election after a complaint was made to electoral officials.

Councillor Dave Macpherson has asked for a ruling from the city returning officer on a series of branded forums organised by staff for Ms Hardaker.

He claims the mayor’s forums are electioneering in disguise and should stop.

Or it is a Mayor doing their job and making themselves available to ratepayers to discuss any issues they have. Macpherson is being silly and petty.

The best quote on Mr Macpherson comes from his former leader Jim Anderton:

But Anderton was dismissive of the remarks.

“Dave Macpherson is one member of the Alliance, he is on the Hamilton City Council… last thing I knew he was the deputy chairman of the subcommittee of the dog control appeal authority.”

Attacking a Mayor for actually getting out there and meeting ratepayers is just silly.

Tags: , , ,

Only in Hamilton

March 8th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Aaron Leaman at Stuff reports:

An intoxicated Hamilton clubgoer has been prosecuted for taking the law into her own hands – literally – during a routine bar check.

Galloway, 36, was drinking at Hamilton’s Shenanigans Irish Pub about midnight on May 18 last year when a constable entered the bar to carry out a liquor licence check.

In what her lawyer termed “a grossly stupid act”, Galloway groped the officer’s groin as he made his way through the bar.

Galloway was ejected from the bar, prompting her to yell abuse and suggest the officer was enjoying the attention.

In explanation, Galloway later said she did not realise her victim was a police officer and she had “been doing this to men all night“.

If you ran this story without mentioning the city, I reckon most people would guess it was Hamilton :-)

The charge carries a maximum sentence of two years’ jail. Judge Connell declined to impose a fine, instead opting for a sentence of community work.

Incidentally if the genders were reversed I suspect the patron would be in considerably more trouble.

Tags:

Heh

July 19th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says having identical homes could bring down the costs of building new houses but he told the social services select committee that New Zealanders might not be ready for such a culture change.

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern said the concept already existed in New Zealand. “It’s called Hamilton.”

Heh. Sort of true.

Tags: ,

Mayoral expenses

April 4th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

A bill of about $91,000 from Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker’s office last year has shocked some city councillors who are questioning why ratepayers should be paying for a Koru Club membership and $1257 for a new mayoral office chair.

Okay first of all if any Councillor is really suggesting a Mayor shouldn’t have Koru Club membership, they’re just being petty and stupid. The Hamilton City Council has around $3 billion of assets and turns over over $200 million a year and they think the Mayor shouldn’t have a $361/year Koru Club card? Never mind that the reason frequent travellers have them is so they can be productive and keep working while waiting for flights.

The chair criticism is more valid. You can get very nice executive chairs for $500 to $800. $1,257 is at the higher end of the range.

But other items have attracted criticism, including $994.78 on an Air New Zealand Koru Club membership, $1958 on mayoral stationery and $2000 on print ads promoting her Mayor in the Square events.

They are quibbling about stationery and a measly $2,000 of advertising?

Councillor Ewan Wilson said it was inappropriate for ratepayers to be coughing up for a membership to an airport lounge when the mayor earned enough to pay it herself.

Oh don’t be a dick. The Mayor is travelling on work business, not personal business, hence the Council pays. As Wilson should know, it allows you to keep working while travelling.

And the mayoral chair was ordered because she could “not sit properly” in the old one because it was designed for a man. She had been unaware of the cost of the new one. “I just tried some chairs and that one looked good.”

Probably a good idea in future to ask the cost. If one chair is say an A+ fit and costs $1,500 but another is an A- fit and is $400, then you go for the latter one if the difference in quality is minimal but the price difference is significant.

Hamilton Citizens and Ratepayers Association president John Easto said the costs were “quite staggering”. “It’s a bloody expensive position. I don’t think it’s justifiable, some of those costs. A Koru Club membership is fairly normal for senior managers at corporates but the other things I have real problems with – pretty flowers and things.”

Here is the problem I have reading the story. I don’t know if $91,000 is a high level of expenditure for a Mayoral office or not. With the exception of the chair, most items cited seem routine. But what would be very useful information is what has been the expenditure for the Mayoral office over say the last few years? Has it been static, increasing, or decreasing?

Tags: , ,

A wowser Council in Hamilton

November 23rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Hamilton sex expo was given a limp reception by Hamilton City councillors who yesterday voted nine-10 against the adult-only event being held in the financially-struggling Claudelands Events Centre next year.

Councillor Maria Westphal chaired the strategy and policy meeting yesterday when a “full discussion” resulted in most councillors voting against allowing the Erotica Lifestyle Expo to come to Hamilton next March.

“It was a balance between losing the money and not upsetting a large portion of the community,” Mrs Westphal said.

She said the expo did not match Hamilton’s “family friendly values”.

Oh what nonsense. The expo isn’t compulsory for people to attend you know. This is the worst kind of moral censorship.

I can understand people not wanting a boobs on bikes parade, as that is in a public place, and “in your face” but the Erotica expos are held in contained venues where you have to pay money to get in. Who the hell appointed the City Council the moral police?

Their decision means those who want to attend Erotica are unable to do so because of moral wowsers imposing their views on them. Even worse, Hamilton ratepayers will end up paying for the views of the moral wowsers due to the lost revenue.

The only question for the Council should have been, will he or she pay the venue hire charge? If there is a doubt over their financial security, then have them pay in advance. Beyond that it is not their role to decide what events consenting adults can go along and attend.

Tags: ,

Goff struggling to attract the numbers

July 15th, 2011 at 2:52 pm by Jadis

Labour List MP Sue Moroney has been tweeting excitedly about the crowd who attended a public meeting today with Hon Phil Goff:

Before getting too excited, Sue should really ask around to see how many people turned up to last week’s public meeting with Hon John Key.  Even going by the Waikato Times numbers there were twice as many people who turned out on a stormy night for a Q and A session with the PM.  Actual numbers attending the PM’s public meeting were more than 300.
Surely today was the best timing  for Hon Phil Goff.  He is at his peak.
  • It is the day after his and Labour’s big tax package announcement
  • It is a beautiful sunny day in Hamilton
But Phil and his local List MP could only attract 100 people.  It’s a hard road to the election for Goff.
Tags: , , , ,

Taupo leads Hamilton

July 12th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Waikato Times reports:

A Hamilton city councillor’s suggestion that meetings be televised to connect better with ratepayers hasn’t impressed her colleagues.

Angela O’Leary has suggested web cameras be installed in the council chambers and committee rooms. She said it would make meetings more accessible and get more people involved. Her proposal comes after Taupo District Council’s decision to start filming its meetings later this month.

She said people often missed out on heated debates at the full council meetings at night because much of the debating was done in committee meetings during the day when people were at work.

“There’s still a chance that items from the committee meetings will be called and debated during the full council meetings. Still, no-one shows. And really, why would you? They’re on a Wednesday night at 7.30pm. We’re competing with Packed to the Rafters and Cougar Town.”

Ms O’Leary said when she raised her suggestion privately with colleagues on Tuesday she was shocked by some of their reactions.

“Some refused to be on camera.

“Comments like `crap’ and `stupid idea’ even. When I asked what they were afraid of they just scoffed at me.”

Councillor Glenda Saunders told the Waikato Times it was a “non issue” and branded it a “cute little publicity stunt”.

She wanted questions answered around price, technology and who would watch it before she made a decision about it. Councillor Peter Bos said it would be like watching paint dry.

They don’t get it. It is not about entertainment value – it is about accountability and scrutiny.

Taupo District Council, the first council in New Zealand to install a web cam, will broadcast its first meeting on July 20. The council has signed up to a six-month free trial and, if it decides to continue live broadcasts will pay $4500 for the initial set up and $400 a month for operation costs.

Mayor Rick Cooper said it was a small price to pay for transparency and he thought the idea was going to spread like “wild fire” across the country.

Incredibly cheap.

I’d love to see it in place at Wellington City Council. Some Crs might behave better if their temper tantrums were open for all to see on You Tube.

Tags: ,

Lisa for Hamilton!

January 30th, 2010 at 1:22 pm by David Farrar

The Waikato Times reports:

The race for seats on the Hamilton City Council this year could get pretty raunchy – stripper Lisa Lewis is considering standing in October’s local body elections.

Ms Lewis confirmed to the Waikato Times yesterday she was considering standing and wanted to gauge reaction before deciding. “I am 28. I believe we need to look at the percentage of young people that live in the ‘Tron. Why don’t they vote? Because there is no interest in them to do so. If I decided to stand I would ensure there would be a motivation and reason for them to vote.”

Lisa could do for Hamilton, what Tim Shadbolt did for Invercargill, and really put them on the map!

Tags: , ,

Hamilton

October 12th, 2008 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

Staying with a friend in Hamilton. The bitch (and I mean that in a loving caring way) sent the kids in to wake me up and play games with me before 7 am, so she could get some more sleep. That would be bad enough at the best of times, but as I had been drinking Black Russians until 3 am it was cruel and unusual punishment.

Spent a couple of hours building forts from cushions with Master Four and Miss Two. Very tiring, especially after four hours sleep. The day before I had to fend them (and a visiting Miss Six) off for over an hour as they launched light sabre attacks on me. What I found amusing is playing the games on Thursday gets you a bit clucky as it is great fun to be a big kid. But then having to do the same again at 7 am the next morning squarely puts me back into the “Thank God I don’t have kids” camp.

Anyway I now know all of Thomas the Tank Engine’s friends off by heart!

Also quite amusing to go outside this morning, and find the rabbit asleep in its rabbit hutch, and the next door neighbour’s cat asleep on top of the hutch. It seems the cat has been trying to have rabbit stew for some days. This would be a very bad thing as they are only babysitting the rabbit for friends.

Oh well, time to start heading up to Auckland for National’s campaign launch. I think it will be a slow day today!

Tags: , ,