This is what democracy looks like
WOW. Hundreds turned out on Monday in the pouring rain to fight for our City and call out the unelected Commissioners who are fundamentally changing our city.
But democracy ended at the door of the Council chambers. Despite huge opposition to the massive rate hikes, and demands for less waste and more transparency, the unelected Commissioners still went ahead and approved Anne Tolley's radical Long-term Plan.
The Elite in the Tower and the People in the Square
The irony was not lost in the fact that the chanting of hundreds of local ratepayers outside could be heard while Jordan Williams and Kim Williams delivered our message to the unelected Commissioners.
The media coverage speaks for itself
Bay of Plenty Times: Tauranga Ratepayers' Alliance protest starts walk to council
Bay of Plenty Times: Tauranga Ratepayers' Alliance protest against 22pc rates rises achieves 'great' turnout
Bay of Plenty Times: Green light for 15pc rates rise as Tauranga City approves controversial Long-term Plan
Sunlive: Protestors descend on Tauranga Council
Sunlive: Commissioner reacts to ratepayer protests
Meanwhile the Council's sockpuppets are in spin mode
The crowds that joined us yesterday are quite the contrast to groups like the Chamber of Commerce who are calling for the Commissioner's terms to be extended!
The Chamber's CEO, Matt Cowley, told RNZ that a return to democracy would be 'risky'. See Radio NZ coverage: Tauranga leaders concerned about plans to reinstate councillors in 2022
Of course Mr Cowley did not disclose that the Chambers largest funder is none other than the Council Commissioners he is defending! In fact when we approached Mr Cowley to ask why he wasn't backing democracy, he said elections are a just a 'small part' of local democracy. Weird. We thought being able kick out local leaders the very essence of democracy...
The thing is, we'd much rather have ratbag politicians who we can get rid of, than ratbag Commissioners and officials who report to Wellington and we cannot fire!