The Len Brown issue just won't go away. Just when you think it has settled down and as a city we can move forward and let the man do what he does best, bam, the saga continues.
It would appear now that his own counsellors have decided to turn against him and head down a 'vote of no confidence' route. Hmmmm.
Heres my thoughts on the subject, and I will address the elephant in the blog post from the get go. To be clear, I voted for him - the other candidates just did not stack up - and, whilst the whole sordid affair was not public prior to the election, I would vote for him again. Not because he is a stunning example of a husband, christian (his claim not mine) or morally upstanding - his actions suggest he clearly is not, but because he is a very effective mayor and he has been a force for good in our city. There is NO ONE else I would consider to be as good, or a replacement, and that includes those pushing their own agenda on the council.
It appalls me that some counsellors think they are more powerful than those who voted Len Brown in. Since when should they have the power to overrule the publics democratic vote? Not to mention all those thousands of people who voted for him. I did not vote for them - and I find it a gross over stepping of the mark to overrule what the people wanted. You resign if you feel that affronted by it - but to arrange a modern day political 'lynch mob' - you really do have to ask, what has local body politics come to in our country?
There are claims of polls suggesting Aucklander's want him gone. Really? Not only have I not found them, but I wasn't asked to vote. I suspect any polls from here on are prejudiced by recent media reports and calls from the media to have him resign. Again, I wonder about the fairness of trial by media...but that is a different debate.
His counsellors want to reign him in by curbing his ability to spend his 4 million dollar discretionary budget. Sounds like an attempt to control the Mayor and thereby push their own barrows. And based on what? A review that found the Mayor had not declared free upgrades and hotel rooms - rooms he had paid for himself I might add. Wow. As far as I am aware, there has been no evidence that the Mayor did anything inappropriate in terms of his ability to carry out his job. So, by all means crusade on crucifying the man on a moral ground - but be sure your own glasshouse is shatter proof, and don't try and push your agenda on the back of 'not declaring' freebies he paid for himself.
I need to make it clear, I do not condone his personal activities and his involvement in a sordid affair. I personally find it distasteful and a gross lack of judgement. However, from a logical perspective, if you look at what he achieved during that time, then it is obvious that he was effective - so imagine what he will achieve now he is not distracted?
My main concern is that a group of people can push their own agenda, use the media to ram it home, and disregard and disrespect the democratic process. That is not ok. It sets a dangerous precedent and makes a mockery of democracy. It smacks of dirty politics.
Finally, a message to his 'team'. Think of those who voted him in - not your own agenda. You do not have the power or the mandate to take over, and run the city without the cities people democratically voting you such power. It is my humble opinion that your actions in this matter say more about you and your agenda, that what is actually in the best interests of the city. I would urge the Mayor to stand firm, not bend to what is essentially a form of political bullying, and continue to do what is best for our city.
There is a lot of work to be done - enough of the drama - let the man get on with what he does best - lead this city forward!