Genius or Madman? Hamilton mayor wants a 16.5% rates rise

Hamilton’s mayor has proposed a 16.5 per cent rates hike.

It wouldn’t necessarily pay for “new toys”, according to Mayor Andrew King, but it would knock the books into shape.

King pitched a 12 per cent increase back in March and ratepayers breathed a sigh of relief when most of his Hamilton City Council colleagues said no.

He’s playing a high-risk game that will probably mean this is his last term as mayor.  Unless enough people realise what he’s actually doing.  

Now an even bigger one is on the cards – in fact, it’s the starting point for King’s suggested city budget for the next decade.

“It will be up to councillors from now on but if we don’t do this, all we’re doing is putting our head in the sand and not facing up to the reality of balancing our books,” he said.

“This is what we need to do to balance our books.”

On Monday morning, senior council staffers briefed councillors on the mayor’s plan for rates, including the mayor’s 16.5 per cent suggestion.

So he tried before and the council voted him down.

Now he’s saying “you can’t have this, or that, or this”.

I think he’s playing a smart game, telling people if they want stuff it needs paying for.

Not to mention the big hole they already have to pay for.

But yeah, probably a one-term mayor.  Voters can’t cope with someone telling them hard facts.

Maybe voters want to be lied to?  Enough evidence to suggest this is so.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.