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Wastewater (3)

There was unanimous agreement to draft a Trade-waste bylaw, and charging mechanism. This seems to have widespread support amongst the exacerbaters, though they have asked for a staged introduction.

United Water has won the maintenance contract with savings of over $300,000 achieved. We never heard whether there was any other tenderer, but what the hell - it was a good result, and long overdue.

The argument over wastewater charging then went round the room, and nothing new of any note emerged - all the same tired old arguments, with any amount of emotion, some feigned I believe -all good theatre of course.

It is amazing that they still bring up the old road argument involving the high cost of maintaining the top of the Peninsula roads in the Coromandel Ward. It is all nonsense of course, and has no validity in the context of wastewater which is the 'elephant in the kitchen' of all Council charges.

Cr. Tony Brljevich unfortunately folded under the onslaught from the Mayor on the road issue, and Cr. Hoadley showed that she had almost no understanding of the matter - she complained that "she had been uncomfortable with the arguments put forward by certain candidates during the election". Cr. French backed the status quo, unsurprisingly. More and more he looks like a mayoral candidate.

The only hold out was Cr. Connors - she dug her heels in, and clearly showed that they were not going to get the desired unanimity were the vote to proceed on the four different charging options put forward in the paper, including status quo. BC Strat Peters made a good case in support of Cr. Connors, and suggested that where more expensive discharge options are demanded, these should incur penalties.

The Mayor then adroitly moved towards taking the issue off the table while staff prepare a full review of all revenue/costs on a ward basis, apparently so as to show that Thames is better off than the others, and to shut up those who are trying to prove otherwise.

So staff have their marching orders. The Mayor is so confident of his position that they had better come up with the right result if they value their jobs. That was certainly the impression I had from what were fairly unsubtle instructions. They have to report back by the 10 August meeting. Well, there may be surprises if I am not mistaken, although Financial Controller Steve Baker seemed, as always, confident of a result favouring the Mayor's position.




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