Targeted Rates On The Way for Indoor Court
Monday, June 20, 2016 at 12:17PM
Bill Barclay

There are strong, and well substantiated rumours of a sudden realisation amongst our councillors that all is not as well on the financial front as they had been led to believe over an extended period of time. 

Public excluded orkshops are under way this week at which time a few home truths are being revealed, while at the same time, the extent of targeted rates to be incorporated in the budgets that will be adopted on 29 June will be examined.

That may come as a shock to some councillors who have gone along with the extraordinarily profligate rate of recent pre-election spending.  In particular, the elaborate system of hand-outs to various favoured groups in the community - $50,000 here, and $30,000 there - all new expenditure that has had to be fitted into budgets, somehow. This has all been devised by the redoubtable deputy Chief Executive Ben Day, who remains at the Economic Development helm.

Thames Community Board will today consider the creation of a substantial targeted rate on every Thames rate-payer to assist with the cost of the outrageous $7m Zoom Zone Indoor Sports Arena - now well on the way to commencement, amidst latent doubts about the ability of staff to manage the project. Add to that the $400k Skate Park, the plans of which were released this week. And more is to come. 

This targeted rate - probably about $20 on your rate bill will come as a great surprise to a considerable number of rate-payers, but I have been warning for several years that this imposition was inevitable. Good luck to all the oldies who are endeavouring to work out just how they will be able to benefit from the facilities, while their swimming pool continues to deteriorate. 

I look forward to the day when a new group of councillors will have the opportunity to dissect the financial shenanigans and reckless planning that have led to the current situation, and analyse the claims of financial probity that have been claimed over a long period by the current administration.

Throwing $250,000 into the Whitianga Medical Centre mix is just the latest unbudgetted outrage. Where on earth do they think this money is coming from? Talk of 2% maximum rate increases are 'out the window' once this and other targeted rates are added to the bill.

Unfortunately, we may expect strenuous efforts to keep factual information from the public record prior to the election - our Council is helped along in this by the complete disinterest of the main-stream media. The departure of the editor of the Hauraki Herald - John Brown, in the face of the recent upheavals in Fairfax and Mediaworks will not help, though even he appeared to ignore what was going on here from his Pukekohe eerie.

I look forward to rate-setiing Annual Plan oon 29 June - much will need to be revealed that will need close analysis.   




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