I have commented on the topic of governance in the local government sector several times in the past six months—because there have been many avoidable situations that merit closer scrutiny. Today, I want to provide a short comment on the responses of the mayors to the situations they have found themselves in, not the situations themselves. For example, the recent (mis)behaviours of Mayor Brown of Auckland and Mayor Ford of Toronto have been widely criticised, yet both mayors, somewhat defiantly, remain in office.
When one knowingly breaks the rules of office once, some of the trust one has garnered to secure the office is eroded. When one knowingly does so a second or subsequent time, trust cannot survive. Actions have consequences. Sadly, this reality seems to have evaded the mayors in question. Their continued reluctance to be held accountable for their actions is staggering. Resignation is the only acceptable response. The people of Auckland and Toronto deserve better than to suffer through these continued displays of self-assured hubris (although the tide does appear to be turning in Auckland with plans of a no-confidence vote by a group of Councillors). When will the constituency or, more importantly, the mayors themselves, wake up and act?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.