Call for salary disclosure

LETTER

I also want to offer my congratulations to Nedine Thatcher Swann. It is indeed an honour and admirable achievement to be appointed CEO of Gisborne District Council, especially for a woman so relatively young. But I also want a better explanation from her masters.

While I have no beef with the new CEO (yet), I believe it is our right to know what her post is costing us (the ratepayer). I regard GDC as a public entity in which we have a vested interest, and there should be more disclosure around the CEO’s pay packet — especially since I’ve heard on the grapevine that it’s in the order of 340k. If so, this is appallingly high considering the CEO is essentially the manager of publicly-owned assets and of debt, as opposed to managing an organisation that returns profit to its shareholders.

As ratepayers we are entitled to know what the council’s principal is costing, in the same way we are entitled to scrutinise and debate the stipends of the mayor and of councillors. I stopped a councillor as my elected representative in the street this week in an attempt to prise the salary amount out of him but was glibly fobbed off, which I expect to happen with this open request.

I respect everyone’s right to privacy, because I relish and guard my own, and believe the affairs of private enterprise are entirely different than in the public sector — so please can we have some transparency and accountability on this matter of public interest. After all, this is our business.

John Woods, Wainui

Footnote from Mayor Meng Foon: The salary is around $270,000 per annum. The salaries of all local government CEOs are published publicly in the annual reports.

I also want to offer my congratulations to Nedine Thatcher Swann. It is indeed an honour and admirable achievement to be appointed CEO of Gisborne District Council, especially for a woman so relatively young. But I also want a better explanation from her masters.

While I have no beef with the new CEO (yet), I believe it is our right to know what her post is costing us (the ratepayer). I regard GDC as a public entity in which we have a vested interest, and there should be more disclosure around the CEO’s pay packet — especially since I’ve heard on the grapevine that it’s in the order of 340k. If so, this is appallingly high considering the CEO is essentially the manager of publicly-owned assets and of debt, as opposed to managing an organisation that returns profit to its shareholders.

As ratepayers we are entitled to know what the council’s principal is costing, in the same way we are entitled to scrutinise and debate the stipends of the mayor and of councillors. I stopped a councillor as my elected representative in the street this week in an attempt to prise the salary amount out of him but was glibly fobbed off, which I expect to happen with this open request.

I respect everyone’s right to privacy, because I relish and guard my own, and believe the affairs of private enterprise are entirely different than in the public sector — so please can we have some transparency and accountability on this matter of public interest. After all, this is our business.

John Woods, Wainui

Footnote from Mayor Meng Foon: The salary is around $270,000 per annum. The salaries of all local government CEOs are published publicly in the annual reports.

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Sunlight for all - 8 months ago
And while you're looking at transparency in public institutions John, why not check to see if the highest paid Eastland Group employee is getting more than the $550,000 or so he was paid last year.

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