A sh*t sandwich for the Mayor

Have you heard of a sh*t sandwich?  It’s a tool for giving feedback which protects the recipient’s feelings slightly while also allowing you to tell them how unhappy you are with their performance.

Mayor Andrew
Mayor Andrew King has been a regular guest on Free FM. (Pictured alongside fellow Free Breakfast host Mike Williams).

Most work-places have regular performance reviews – in the case of the elected Hamilton City Council it’s every three years when we vote  – except there are so many flaws in the democratic process that residents vote on name recognition – or don’t hold Councillors to account for the crappy decisions they may have made during the term … or just don’t vote.  So, I thought that given we’re “celebrating signing off the 10 Year plan” (cough) – that I’d offer a performance review of Mayor Andrew King – mid-term … Although, I think even he knows he’s a one-term Mayor.

It would be unfair to review performance without first acknowledging some things he has done which he needs credit for.  He and the Chief Executive Richard Briggs proposed an increase of the minimum wage for Council staff to $20 to take effective on 1 July 2018.  It wasn’t quite the living wage – but an increase that would have helped all the Council staff trying to pay rent and bills in a city they spend their working week maintaining!  Great resource from Dorrington Wright to show you how Councillors voted on this back in December.  While it didn’t go ahead we acknowledge that he tried.  Council Minimum Wage.

We can also credit him (though some may disagree with me here) for generating discussion on the Hamilton vs Kirikiriroa debate …  While he was only proposing a change to Kirikiriroa for the Council – it sparked a city-wide korero on our name and our history which I think should always be welcomed.  Though I did wonder if he’d approached the issue more strategically or if someone else had proposed it, if it would have gone down differently with the public.  Read more: Hamilton Mayor proposes name change to Kirikiriroa City Council.

This is a sh*t sandwich, so it’s time for the bit you came for.

The Mayor sat on an Audit NZ report, seemingly for so long that it couldn’t be released before the Councillors were forced to sign off on something that the report was concerning.  WTF? Now, I know – Councillors who voted for the $7 million being set aside – have justified their decision to back it because “we wouldn’t want a fast food business there” or “we need skin in the game” or “no-one is saying which buildings the money is for” …  but at the end of the day – actions and decisions like this  impact on residents trust of local government – the whole idea of “Councillors doing what they want anyway” prevail.  I’m appalled that this has happened.  Audit NZ report into council process over park expansion delayed

Another thing: on the central city park idea – Who the heck’s idea was that?  Oh yeah … The Mayor’s.  I know, because I asked him in a Free FM interview last year.  Well guess what buttercup, that is not a community mandate.  The 10 year plan should be made up of conversations, briefings and tried and tested ideas with the community – not vanity projects, sprung on other Councillors last minute.

Anyway … I’m going to say something nice again because that’s  how a sh*t sandwich works.  I’ve found myself defending him on lots of occasions, because despite him being rather awkward (I relate to this) you can tell he is genuinely nice and wants what is best for us all, not just the rich – proof of this is the proposal to increase developer contributions significantly.  So next time you think he’s doing deals for mates – you might remember that he was about to charge them tens of thousands of dollars more for developments.  That took leadership.  Read more  If increased charges are in, we’re out: Hamilton Developer.

A sh*t sandwich pats someone on the back for a good job while also telling them to pull their socks up.  What would you tell the Mayor if you had to give good and bad feedback?

 

 

 

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