TYP Summary - To Post, or not to Post
Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 11:55AM
Bill Barclay

The par in today's PP column regarding the unanimous decision of Council to follow the Mayor's recommendation that the TYP Summary be made available only in service centres and libraries has raised the hackles of a number of readers.

One has kindly sent me a copy of the letter that went to all rate-payers in Hamilton City regarding its TYP as a contrast in attitudes, even when under financial constraint:


Further to our last email to you in December, I’m contacting you again to keep you up to date with where Council is at in developing the city’s 10-Year Plan for 2012-22.

The guiding decisions made by Council at December’s series of meetings have gone forward into a draft 10-Year Plan which will be considered by the Mayor and Councillors at their meeting this Thursday 9 February.  Key to these were decisions that rates will be set at 3.8% for the next 10 years, the city’s debt levels will be reduced, and the cost of running the city will be reduced through cutting services and increasing user charges.

In addition a number of matters which required work from staff or which are new since December will be considered at the meeting for their impact on the Plan. These include how contestable grants and staff funding in Community Development might be distributed, revision of the economic development budget following cuts, and the impact of findings of the independent review of Claudelands on future budgets.

Once the draft Plan is signed off it will go out for formal public consultation from 19 March-19 April 2012.  An easy to read summary of it will be sent to all households and a range of approaches will be used to connect with residents so they know about the draft Plan, understand it, and can easily make their views known (my bold).  Hearings will take place in May, and after consideration of all submissions, Council will adopt the final Plan in late June, before it takes effect from 1 July 2012.

As with all Council meetings, Thursday’s meeting, which starts at 9.30am, is open to the public and all are most welcome to attend.

Barry Harris  - Chief Exectutive

There is a lesson here for our Mayor, who seems to have a limited view of democratic essentials. I suspect that there will be a considerable number of rate-payers who are offended by this gratuitous  "we know what is good for you" from this bench of relatively new councillors. The Mayor should know better - his description of the need to send the Summary to everyone as "hogwash" will not go down well with large numbers of rate-payers. Council should revisit the decision - urgently; otherwise I predict a substantial backlash.




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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