Hiring a consultant for $100,000 could help Porirua City Council save $6.5 million, according to a group dedicated to cutting council costs.
The council has included the Porirua Economic Development Group’s (PEDC) proposal in its draft Annual Plan, though it required mayor Nick Leggett to use his casting vote to break a 7-7 deadlock at a meeting last Wednesday.
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
PEDC chairman Peter Davies says in 2003 the council paid its employees $11m, whereas that sum is now more than $20m.
Staff salaries gobble half Porirua’s rates income, he says.
Porirua’s high rates repel business and put off the very residents Porirua is trying to attract to the city: young families, empty nesters and retirees, all of whom are cost-conscious, he says.
The five-member PEDC aims to make council services better value for money, and to make Porirua more affordable and liveable.
Councillor Euon Murrell endorsed PEDC’s plan, saying the council had investigated its costs four years ago but few savings had been made.
‘‘Something has to change. It’s a question of having the political will or the courage to change,’’ Cr Murrell said.
Councillor Ken Douglas said Mr Davies’ proposal ignored improvements to local government services over the past decade, while Bronwyn Kropp said the timing of the proposal was off.
PCC chief executive Gary Simpson had been in his job less than three years and was still implementing efficiencies, she said.