Turver Challenges

Turver asks KCDC to explain

2 August 2010

Mayoral candidate Chris Turver has challenged the KCDC to explain how hiring just 11 additional staff over the last three years has led to a $3.7 million blowout in staff pay.

He says, the KCDC’s categorical statement about only hiring 11 fulltime equivalent staff over the last three years is at odds with a 31 percent increase in the staff salaries and benefits budget over the same period.

Mr Turver, whose election campaign includes pushing for cost reductions within the KCDC, says the Council’s own reports show pay and benefits increased sharply from $12 million in the year ending 2007 to $15.7 million this year.

He says either more staff were taken on than being admitted since the year ending June 30 2007 – or the staff salaries and benefits budget is being used to pay for something else.

“Either way the Council has some explaining to do to the ratepayers who foot this huge staff bill because there is no tooth fairy.”

Mr Turver says staff salaries and benefits at the KCDC now account for 41 percent of every ratepayer dollar making the percentage cost of employing staff at the KCDC extremely high and limiting expenditure in other areas.

By contrast, the cost of salaries and benefits as a percentage of rates in neighbouring Horowhenua was 29 percent and in Masterton 25 percent.

“It’s not unreasonable to suggest our Council has lost control.”

Isn’t it interesting that a candidate should ‘challenge’ the current Kapiti Council and demand responses to questions. It seems to me that ‘pointing the finger’ when you are on the outside is so easy. I guess it would be easy as the person able to, to cast a deciding vote to put issues such as the ‘Flouride Debate’ away, where it appears to me that our current Mayor listened to both passionate sides of this and ‘chose’ not to take it away from either party, but instead prompted more information gathering and discussion. I wonder, would this candidate also take this approach?

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