ANGRY RESIDENTS RALLY AGAINST CEO’S PAY RISE AND KCDC SPENDING
Several hundred placard-waving Kapiti residents have taken part in one of the largest protests ever against the local District Council.
They oppose a $44,000 pay rise secretly approved for chief executive Pat Dougherty in December, and a $10 million blowout on major projects.
As well as this, many are upset by large rate rises in recent years.
– That chief executive Pat Dougherty give back his $44,000 pay rise.
– That Local Minister Minister Nick Smith be asked to appoint a Crown Observer to monitor the spending of ratepayers’ money.
Many of the protesters came from groups such as Kapiti Grey Power and ‘Ask Us First.’ an anti-water-meter group.
Mayor responds with sympathy
Kapiti’s Mayor Jenny Rowan met Mr Cooper as protesters shouted slogans and said later:
“We understand what people are saying. And I can understand people being upset about the pay catch-up for our CEO, especially if you are on a fixed income of $30,000.
“We went through a process over the CEO’s salary late last year. It became clear during that process the CEO’s salary was completely out of kilter with his responsibilities, which are considerable, and the salaries being paid to other CEOs in the region.
“Despite the increase, he is still ranked 5th for local government CEO’s in the Wellington region.”
Turver says locals are fed up
Mr Turver, a former mayoral candidate and ex-regional councillor, says it reflects a level of outrage never seen before in the area.
He said his phone has run hot and ‘it’s clear that email, phone and social networks have been working overtime across the district.’
He said even Kapiti Coast District Council staff – who say they are under tight pay constraints – have phoned him to complain about the scale of the chief executive’s pay rise and the signals that sends about double standards.
The protest at Paraparaumu follows one in Christchurch when residents staged a mass protest against their council’s chief executive being given a $68,000 pay increase, though CEO Tony Marryatt subsequently turned down that rise.