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Mayoral Plans for 2011

The TCDC Press Release dated 20 January included direct quotations from the Mayor, amongst the usual and predictable mother and apple pie statements of intent, mission and vision - all the usual management guru-speak. 

"We all look forward to the New Year and working closely with staff to identify and achieve the necessary efficiencies to reduce Council overheads and provide the services that our communities want.

Presumably, this means that threats made during the course of the election campaign regarding his intention to implement:

  • reduced staff numbers through a sinking lid policy,
  • institution of a "wage freeze" policy, and
  • reduced holiday pay entitlements from the current 5 to 4 weeks,

are imminent.  A number of observers will be watching with great interest to see just how he intends to go about implementing these measures.

Of greater concern is the second statement:

"While we recognise that in the ongoing depressed economic climate we must show financial restraint, that shouldn't mean holding off on priority projects that communities have said they want and are prepared to pay for".

I don't recall any "priority projects" that the Thames community in particular indicated that it wanted, and were prepared to pay for. In fact there was considerable concern expressed at meetings that I attended that Council should only undertake essential capital works.

I realise our new Mayor is coming under substantial pressure from Thames Councillors and Board members who clearly made pre-election promises regarding Zoom Zone, and that proposers of that project will be maintaining that pressure in the background, but he should be aware that this demand represents the wishes of a what is probably only a small minority of rate-payers. When full financial information is provided, there is likely to be strong community reaction to the proposal.

Thames rate-payers will hopefully demand a referendum on this issue when it reaches the public consultation stage, and insist that full information of the condition, life and likely cost of replacing the swimming pool is provided at the same time. Sources of funding for both projects should be clear and unequivocal.

The Mayor's statement should be a red flag for all rate-payers. This is how politicians commmonly introduce pet projects, claiming community support without the slightest evidence other than noise emanating from a small but vocal group.

I would be interested to know just what projects were demanded in other communities other than town centre  refurbishment, and sports ground development in Whitianga. Rate-payers should stand ready to demand referenda wherever increased rates are threatened through the promotion of pet projects.



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Reader Comments (2)

And where does the cycle-way fit into the priority project list I wonder?

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I have no idea, but the question needs asking as Council heads towards approving $500,000 as its share of the cost, or rather the first installment as I suspect.

January 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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