Council bonus pay gets approval
Newly-elected Palmerston North city councillor Karen Naylor has launched into action with a bid to cut councillors’ pay.
Her attempt to prune about $8000 from the council’s remuneration package at the council’s first business meeting was unsuccessful.
She said while the dollar savings would have been small, it would have sent a significant message to the public that councillors would lead by example in efforts to find savings and keep rates down.
‘‘I believe we will be needing to make some difficult decisions in this term of council.
‘‘We will be expecting others to show some financial restraint and find savings.
‘‘It would send a really positive message to the community if we were prepared to do this.’’
Second-term councillor Aleisha Rutherford said she completely opposed the cut.
She said while being a councillor was not traditional employment, for many, it was their fulltime work.
‘‘We should value the workforce of elected members. The remuneration should reflect their time, skill and commitment.’’
Mayor Grant Smith also spoke against Naylor’s proposal.
He said he understood what she was trying to achieve, but paying hard-working councillors something like what they were worth was important.
‘‘Last term we all worked very hard and earned every cent.
‘‘There are better ways of reducing council expenditure.’’