Redirect wages to council: Vandervis

Lee Vandervis.
Lee Vandervis.
A simple signing off of the next year's remuneration for Dunedin city council's elected members turned into an attack on community boards yesterday when a councillor suggested they contributed "very little" to the running of the council and their wages should be given to councillors instead.

Community boards did nothing more than "produce a page or two of waffle" every few months, Cr Lee Vandervis told a council meeting in Dunedin yesterday.

The remuneration for community board members - chairmen just over $16,000 annually and members about $8000 - should be taken from them and split between the deputy mayor, council committee chairmen and councillors, he said.

He raised his point as councillors prepared to sign off on elected members' rates of remuneration for 2012-13, which are set by the council from a remuneration pool allocated by the Remuneration Authority.

"Community boards are an expensive hangover from the past and we should look seriously at encouraging them, if not to disband, then to not to produce so much paper work."

His idea was not supported by the other councillors, who voted to confirm the level of remuneration at the same as last year for community board members, the deputy mayor ($60,030), committee chairmen ($49,245) and councillors ($44,244.96).

Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers community board chairman Gerard Collings said Cr Vandervis' comments highlighted his lack of understanding of how local government worked and of the various facets that contributed to it.

"It seems strange that he feels he's worth more than he's already being paid."

The mayor's remuneration was also noted. Mayors' salaries are determined separately from the remuneration pool by the authority, which indicated a salary for Cr Cull for 2012-13 of $144,600, an increase of $4400 from this year, a report to councillors said.


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