No pay for first three years, says candidate

By John Cousins

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A retired management consultant has pledged to take no pay for three years if he wins a seat on the Tauranga City Council or topples Mayor Stuart Crosby.

Tauriko resident John Robson, 54, has repeated his 2010 election strategy of seeking the mayoralty as well as one of the council's at-large seats.

But instead of his 2010 promise to only take the minimum wage if elected, Mr Robson has upped the ante for October's elections and announced he will take no pay for three years, then leave it to the public to decide at the end of the term whether he deserved the money.

At stake is $416,000 if he won the mayoralty or $208,000 as a councillor. He planned to test public opinion by a poll or on a pro-rata basis, depending on how he fared at the 2016 elections.

His main election platform will be the council's debt. The other candidates seeking to unseat Mr Crosby are retired Bethlehem banker and Tauranga Foodbank chairman Mike Baker, and Tauranga food manufacturer and private kindergarten director Kelvin Clout.

Mr Clout said his first concern would be to address the debt that had overwhelmed and split the council.

"Left unchecked, debt threatens us all with steep rates rises. As a business director trained in financial management, I can apply the fiscal discipline we need to reduce and streamline our costs. I will bring back a positive, inclusive, can-do attitude to Tauranga's leadership," Mr Clout said.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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