Bernard Orsman writes in the Herald:
The Super City is only 10 days old, but councillor George Wood has spat the dummy about the relatively minor job given to him by Mayor Len Brown.
The former North Shore Mayor and senior policeman said he was “somewhat deflated” to be told by Mr Brown he would chair the community safety forum when he wanted a public transport role.
He wondered if he was being sidelined for going public on the “crummy levels of public transport” in Otara – launching pad for the political career of Mr Brown. the the former Manukau Mayor.
Well I doubt that helped.
When Mr Brown assigned committee jobs, the five C&R councillors missed out on top roles. Mr Wood, whose ticket has questioned the affordability of Mr Brown’s rail projects, was overlooked for the top transport job.
The job went to former Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee, whose number one priority is to “support the mayor in expanding rail as soon as possible”.
Yesterday, Mr Wood acknowledged his position on public transport probably contributed to him missing a senior transport role, although all was not lost. The mayor has since said all councillors could be members of the transport committee.
While I think Len’s transport plans are going to cost Aucklanders a huge amount of money, they are what Auckland voted for. It is not unreasonable that the Mayor will want a chair who is fully supportive of his policy, rather than one who campaigned against it.
Add to the fact that Mike Lee’s background as ARC Chair makes him very experienced in the transport area, and I don’t think one can fairly criticise Len’s decisions. Again, this is not to say I agree with his transport priorities but as Mayor he should be able to select a chair who will back him fully.