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Thursday, 12 November 2009

YJ plus ATA plus AC equals YMCA

The news is getting worse for those who are pinning their hopes for Waiheke on the Local Board system that is to take over from the present Community Boards.

To be effective Boards of whatever name need time, money and people. They need to have control over the local budgets on behalf of their community, and their members need a full-time income because it is a full-time job. They need staff, which means staff they choose, not ones chosen by the corporate-culture cookie-cutter wielded
by the Chief Bureaucrat (CEO). They need meaningful input into the decision-making for their community, so they must not be under the thumb of the bureaucracy. But the structure proposed by Mr Yellow-Jacket's Auckland Transition Agency (ATA), puts them under two managers in the third level of bureaucratic managers, i.e., two levels below the CEO--they are local bodies neatly filed under bureaucracy like corpses in a morgue (see ATA10 Discussion Docu04 pages 13&14).

That is dead wrong. They should be associated with the mayor's department and linked directly to it. The elected should be with the elected. They are representatives of the people so they should be over the employed, not under them. We have had far too much of Sir Humphreys running things. They are the public servants, not the masters. The proposed structure is just YMCA (Yesterday's Muck Cooked Again).

Fair remuneration is of course needed for elected representatives to stay alive, but it is also absolutely vital for the existence of a democracy. If people cannot stand for the Community/Local Boards because they cannot afford to be members, it is impossible to get a truly representative local government. Government that is not
representative is not democracy.

In refusing to attend to the issue of remuneration, and allowing his ATA to muscle for under-the-thumb Local Boards, Mr Yellow-Jacket is saying loud and clear that what he really means by 'putting the local back into local government' is to jab it with a massive local anaesthetic.