In the SST on Sunday Jonathan Marshall again busted Len Brown fro his pay off of campaign workers and golden handshakes, and this morning Len Brown excluded the public from the meeting to confer those favours on his campaign helpers.
For some bizarre reason Fairfax hasn’t seen fit to put Marshall’s story online, (read it here ) so I will have to quote from Bernard Orsman’s regurgitation this morning. FirstÂ theÂ goldenÂ parachute rort;
Former Papakura District Council chief executive Theresa Stratton has started work in Mayor Len Brown’s office weeks after receiving a redundancy payment of $209,730.
It is understood Ms Stratton has been able to keep the money because of an employment technicality.
She has gone from a full-time position in her old job to a three-year fixed-term contract as a senior planning adviser in the mayor’s office.
Her new contract does not have provision for redundancy.
Theresa StrattonÂ shouldÂ be made toÂ payÂ back the parachute payment. It is unconscionable thatÂ theÂ ratepayers of first Papakura District Council and second the new Auckland Council have been ripped offÂ withÂ the dodgy appointment processesÂ surroundingÂ the appointment of Theresa Stratton. Those processes are nowhere near as dodgy as theÂ practicesÂ of secrecy and with-hunts being orchestrated by Len Brown over CCo appointments.
Richard Jeffrey and Pauline Winter, both members of Mr Brown’s mayoral campaign, will be paid $35,000 a year as directors of the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and Auckland Council Investments CCOs respectively.
Former Labour Party president Mike Williams – Mr Brown is a Labour Party member – and former Papakura Mayor John Robertson will make $52,500 and $35,000 a year as board directors of the Auckland Transport and Regional Facilities CCOs.
Last week, it was revealed that Mr Brown’s former chief executive at Manukau City Council, Leigh Auton, and former Manukau deputy mayor, Gary Troup, would be appointed to the property and regional facilities CCOs boards respectively.
They will each be paid $35,000 a year.
Mr Brown has refused to say anything about why he is putting so many close political allies forward for jobs at today’s CCO strategy and appointments subcommittee and whether Ms Stratton should pay back her redundancy.
Why won’t LenÂ BrownÂ tell us anything. HeÂ promised usÂ he would be an open book. Is this his what he means when he says he will give us “straight answers, but always with a limit”.
It seems that Len is cultivating a culture of secrecy instead of the transperency that he promised us. Just today he is excludingÂ theÂ public from the meeting to appoint CCO board members, which is ironic because he demanded that CCOs hold meetings in public. It seems that Len Brown has standards for transparency that he likes to apply to others but not to himself. Not only is LenÂ BrownÂ secretive, but he is actually justifying and explaining it.
Members of the public have this morning been excluded from a meeting as Auckland councillors debate who will head the city’s Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
Seven CCOs have been set up to deliver services and manage some of the council’s assets, such as Auckland Transport and the Waterfront Development Agency.
Salaries range from $35,000 to $52,000 for a CCO director’s work, which is essentially part time.
The council this morning passed a resolution to exclude the public from a meeting of the CCO strategy and appointments sub-committee, with only one Councillor, Jami-Lee Ross, voting against it.
Thank god there is one honest councillor in Jami-lee Ross. What a pity that Penny Hulse and Len Brown are running the city like secretive uber-lords.
However Mayor Len Brown defended the move, saying it was in order to protect the reputation of the CCO applicants.
Speaking to the committee before the motion was passed Ross said he was concerned the debate behind closed doors would mean the process would not be as transparent as possible.
He said he did not buy the argument that good people would not put themselves forward in the future if the CCO appointments were done in a public meeting.
“The final sign-off with identified people should be done publicly.”
He said there was no reason to have the vote behind closed doors.
Deputy mayor Penny Hulse spoke in favour of the excluding the public, saying she would be extremely uncomfortable for the applicants to have the committee discuss their credentials in public.
She said the applicants had a legal right to have their reputations protected and also the council had to protect itself over any privacy issues.
Brown agreed the decision to exclude the public was to protect the applicants’ reputation.
“Much of what we do in this committee will be a matter of public record but this is the issue where we are protecting people’s reputation.”
WTF…the reputation of key Brown campaign helpers? The reputation of Mike Williams? TheÂ reputationÂ of the man who is the bagman for the singer at the now infamous and secret Volare dinner, a dinner that LenÂ BrownÂ broke his own council rules over and one he still is refusing to tell about, the same dinner that Richard Jeffrey attended, the same Richard Jeffreyy who donated money to Len Brown’s campaign in 2007…that reputation…yeah that needs to be protected.
This is nothing short of cronyism and political payoffs. Who ever is advising Len Brown is either stupid or not being listened to. This must be what Len Brown means when he said “Transparency is not a perfect thing,” and “Transparency doesn’t just happen in a perfect world.”
Clearly this is theÂ limitsÂ that Len Brown speaks of when giving us the straight answers. So far we have seen almost no impact on the 100 projects in 100 days but rapid spending on flash new chairs to sit in, jobs for the liars and cheats who covered his tracks at Manukau and now jobs for hacks who patted his back and cajoled the churches in South Auckland. Len Brown might just be the fastest moving trougher on the planet.