Sideshow Bob is set to launch his mayoral election campaign tomorrow (I haven't been invited) but he's already popped up in the media trying to justify his disgraceful behaviour over the last three years.
He's got a lot of justifying to do given his propensity (and that of his council lackeys) to arrogantly pursue his own agenda regardless of what the people of Christchurch might think.
Bob was, of course, the prime local agitator for the dismissal of the Environment Canterbury (ECan)councillors but Sideshow claims he only interfered 'in the best interests of the city'. Those friendly chats he had with the Minister of the Environment Nick Smith and the Minister for Local Government Rodney Hide apparently had nothing to do with Bob's anti-ECan campaign.
So depriving people of their democratic rights was in their 'best interests' was it, Bob? Given the amount of local anger the sacking of the councillors has generated, Bob will face a whole heap of flak if he tries that line at election meetings.
If he thinks that calling for ECan elections in 2012 is going to restore his credibility then he is going to be disappointed.
Everyone knows that the sacking of the ECan councillors was all about removing a major obstacle in the way of business interests and the dairy industry getting access to Canterbury's waterways.
Everyone also knows where Sideshow Bob's political loyalties lie. 'Taking care of business' is certainly his motto.
What of all other Bob's lousy decisions? Bob calls them 'controversial' decisions but a turd is still a turd no matter what you call it.
Let's list some of the 'highlights':
-He bailed out his mate Dave Henderson to the tune of $17 million. Now the ratepayer is having to pay for the upkeep of five buildings that no one wants.
-He tried to put council rents up a massive 24 percent. The High Court ruled that Bob and his council cronies had acted illegally. His faithful follower, Councillor Barry Corbett, said that council tenants were being 'selfish' and that he paid more on his mortgage each week than they paid in rent.
-He tried to build a concrete monstrosity in the middle of the Arts Council. Fortunately, thanks largely to a local campaign to save the Arts Centre, Bob got stopped.
- He spent some $5 million on a garden show which lost money this year. At same time he cut council funding to community groups.
- Despite calling for 'economic sacrifices' from the community, Bob - on a salary of $210,000 a year, still whaccked $3000 on his council credit card last year, mostly for food and booze.
- And, thanks to Sideshow Bob, Christchurch ratepayers are stuck with new council offices that will pay an annual rent bill of $8.2 million, which works out to nearly $7000 a year for every staff member. It is now Christchurch's most expensive commercial building and the rent is among the city's highest.
Since Sideshow Bob is always right, he isn't owning up to anything.
In fact he claims that his only fault is that he 'didn't satisfactorily explain the reasons behind some of those decisions.'
Bob's arrogance and conceit is such is that he just doesn't understand that local people know too well what he and his council groupies have been up to - and they just don't like it.
No amount of window dressing by Bob is going to deflect attention from the fact that Bob has been an inept and arrogant mayor who has failed to represent and defend the interests of local people.
And that's why he'll be voted out of office in October.