For those who haven’t seen the British comedy series from the 1980s Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, we highly recommend buying or hiring the DVDs.
The shows featured an idealistic Cabinet Minister whose attempts to do things for the people who elected him are constantly thwarted by the head of his department (Sir Humphrey Appleby) and media secretary (read ‘spin doctor’) who believe that the public should be taxed to provide massive salaries and perks for the considerable department staff, themselves in particular. The real British PM of the era, Margaret Thatcher, was said to be such a big fan of the show she took tapes of it home to study.
The local equivalent of Sir Humphrey Appleby is KCDC Boss Dougherty under whose tenure, Kapiti rates have risen by a massive extent. Some of this was due to stupid ideas by the council led by Mayor Rowan, but not all the blame rests with them.
Getting Dougherty under control with rigorous scrutiny and regular reading of the riot act to him will be the biggest challenge that the next council is going to have.