Max Christoffersen writes:
There are few things more insulting than the platitudes used by elected councillors when it comes time to hit the hustings.
And so it has begun already. It’s local body election year and those seeking another turn at the ratepayer trough are lining up for the October bun fight.
Hamilton has its first candidate out the gate with Councillor Angela O’Leary confirming a run for mayor.
It’s been obvious to anyone watching, O’Leary has been posturing and posing as the mayor in waiting since the middle of last year. The social media grandstanding and platitudes in the chamber have been thick in the air while O’Leary enjoys posing as the people’s champion.
There can be few more disturbing sights than sitting councillors positioning themselves as the solution for the very problems they were in part responsible for creating.
And so it is with O’Leary. No-one should be under any illusion Hamilton’s fiscal and social problems of today have been crafted by the councils of the past and O’Leary was present for all of it.
That’s a pretty brutal take down.
The V8s is council’s smoking gun of institutional and council bungling and O’Leary was there for crucial decisions, the Waikato Times reporting, “after the 2007 elections the (V8) subcommittee came under the chairmanship of Maria Westphal and with Kay Gregory, Angela O’Leary and Mr Redman, continued to make crucial contract spending decisions”.
This is not a track record of sound financial governance that lends confidence to any aspirations O’Leary may have for city mayor.
If elected it will be O’Leary’s fifth term and she represents all that is wrong with local body politics. She is a career politician with little to show for more than a decade in Hamilton City Council chambers.
She now believes she has the answers to the city’s woes she has been powerless to implement over the past decade. It is why there should be a limit to three terms for elected representatives. In time councillors become jaded and subject to group think and round-the-table point scoring.
I support term limits but nine years is a little too short. I think 15 to 18 years would do.