A long time ago I raised concerns about the money various Christchurch City councillors were raking in for serving as directors' on council-controlled companies and planning hearings.
The Press has also consistently highlighted this issue in recent years, including some geat reports by Charlie Gates.
My view has always been that councillors should have to 'make do' with their already inflated salaries. They should have all been promptly kicked off the Christchurch City Council gravy train long ago.
But thanks to Sideshow Bob. that gravy train has been chugging along quite nicely for some of Christchurch's elected 'representatives'.
Back in 2007 Councillor Sue Wells took her salary to $107,253, including $28,500 as director of Christchurch City Holdings. She is still a director of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL). Who knew you could sit as a director seemingly in perpetuity?
Despite being paid well over $100,000 a year Wells has also in the past found time to take on non-council work which has included lending her voice to in-house commercials for The Warehouse and Supervalue supermarkets in Christchurch.
Another loyal Sideshow Bob supporter, Gail Sheriff, has consistently been Christchurch's highest paid councillor. In 2007 her basic councillor pay of $77,977 was topped up by $34,004 as a director of the Orion Group - a grand total of $111,981.
Last year Sheriff received $52,400 in fees last year, on top of her $83,000 salary - a total of $135,400.
In 2008 she said her $34,000 a year directorship involved 'five to 10 hours of work a month'.
She spent the first three months of that year holidaying in Bali and elsewhere - on full pay.
She claimed that she dealt with her work commitments by answering her emails twice a day! Such dedication.
While basking in the Bali sun, Sheriff was paid approximately $34,000.
None of this was of any concern to Sideshow Bob - probably because he's been a enthusiastic rider of the gravy train himself.
Mayor Bob, earned nearly $45,000 in fees last year on top of his $210,000 mayoral package.
But now mayoral candidate Jim Anderton wants to derail this particular gravy train.
He says if becomes mayor in October he will request all councillors to forgo directorship fees for sitting on council-controlled organisations, because they are already well paid.
'It's not as if councillors are being asked to do extra duties. It is part of their day job that they are already being well paid for, he told The Press today.
Anderton wants the some $300,000 that the various councillors have collectively raked in diverted to struggling community groups instead- groups that have had their funding cut by Sideshow Bob and his cronies.
It sounds reasonable to me but none of Sideshow Bob's fat cat supporters on council are prepared to give up the dosh.
This outright refusal is a revealing insight into the less than attractive nature of some of Christchurch's councillors.
Sue Wells has fatuously claimed that her CCHL job is 'outside my duties as a councillor.' But hold on - she's only a director because she's a councillor, right?
Or is she saying she's pursuing a second job on council time? Why is that acceptable exactly?
Gail Sheriff has attacked Jim Anderton for being 'full of hot air and totally unrealistic'.
I'd say a councillor was 'full of hot air' if they claimed they were doing their council work while sitting on a Bali beach. That certainly sounds 'totally unrealistic'...