Yardley on Chch Mayoralty

Mike Kardley writes:

By any measure, it’s a big fat fail grade.

The Christchurch City Council’s annual residents survey has plumbed new depths on the organisation’s performance, with just 49 per cent of surveyed residents satisfied with the services delivered by the council.

The entire residents survey programme involved gauging the sentiments of more than 6100 people.

Unsurprisingly, the standard of our roads was the dissatisfaction king, outranking water supply woes and concerns about the council’s decision-making and financial management.

The state of the roads adjoining recently rolled-out cycleways serve as a striking metaphor for the entrenched mood of discontent. Rutland St and Antigua St are star exhibits. How is it acceptable that the cycleway is a velvety smooth carpet of asphalt, while the general roadway remains a rutted, dishevelled patchwork quilt of rough and ready repairs? Motorists feel like they’re being contemptuously treated by a rabidly anti-car council.

The left seem to have a view that that the way to get more people onto public transport isn’t to improve public transport but to make driving on roads as horrible as possible.

On the centre-right, Cr James Gough has long harboured ambitions of pursuing the top job, but with another baby on the way, the growing demands of fatherhood may well kick into touch his mayoral pursuits until later in the decade.

That would leave the path clear for Cr Phil Mauger, who would be a formidable flag-bearer for the centre-right. He’s not ideologically enslaved, but a proven pragmatist.

Given his enormous admiration on the east side of Christchurch for getting things done, Mauger’s mayoral pulling power has huge potential to transcend the traditional West/East voter battle lines.

His earthy, grassroots appeal is a potent attribute, as are his business smarts and demonstrable disdain for red tape’s strangulating impact on communities, impelling him to undertake his own repairs to roads and footpaths.

I like Mauger. After the Council did nothing to stop flooding on a street for ten years, he went and dug a trench for the residents to stop the flooding. The Council of course filled the trench in as it was unauthorised.

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