BAYSWATER councillors have voted against giving themselves a pay cut.
Cr Brent Fleeton says in tough economic times councillors should look at cutting their own pay packets, but not reduce it to the pre-1995 era when they hardly got any allowances.
“With the budget as it is, with rate increases as they are, and council laying off staff, I think councillors can afford a haircut in the wages department,” he says.
“If the fee drops to $25,000 a year it shows the city staff, ratepayers, everyone, that we’re serious.”
Councillors currently receive $31,364 annually.
Cr Fleeton tabled a motion this week suggesting a review which looks beyond just pay cuts. Cr Fleeton wants staff to investigate:
• whether the city could get by with fewer councillors; and,
• direct elections of the mayor (rather than councillors choosing from among themselves), and;
Cr Fleeton says letting the people elect a mayor means you won’t have councillors trying to get mates on council just to get themselves a vote for mayor. He says that’s happened at Bayswater, but noted current mayor Dan Bull didn’t do that.
“I don’t think Dan had to,” says Cr Fleeton. “I’m stoked for him to be mayor—he’s very good.”
Cr Fleeton’s motion was defeated and he only received support from councillors Catherine Ehrhardt and Giorgia Johnson during the vote.
by DAVID BELL