What a contrast with incumbent Cr Mike Lee.
Perhaps Lee has been weighed down by the massive rates rises and other taxes he has helped foist on ratepayers over the last six years, or it could be his close association with Mayor Len Brown. Then again, it might be because he has failed to provide Waiheke with a solution to its parking crisis at Matiatia, despite his $50k plus directorship of Auckland Transport. Lee’s loyalties seem to lie elsewhere as Waiheke roads fall to pieces with gaping potholes, while his other responsibility, Great Barrier Island, now boasts a sealed road from Tryphena to Fitzroy, for its tiny population and fledgling tourist industry. If anyone could have got things moving it was Lee but he has chosen instead to sit on his hands and openly support the current Waiheke Local Board’s backwards looking, ‘do nothing’ approach.
Bill Ralston, by contrast, wants:
- Rates frozen
- To end the culture of waste
- Tighter control on spending
- An end to budget blow-outs
- Smarter investment in transport
- More accountability from Council and its officers.
He calls Council dysfunctional and gives voice to ratepayers’ frustrations about:
- congested traffic and clogged city streets
- rampant growth without adequate infrastructure
- Council debt and plans to keep on borrowing
In short, he sounds like he’s been listening to the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance (representing over 16,000 ratepayers) and the people. Like me, he is standing as an independent candidate and therefore free to think and vote for those measures which meet good governance, growth and unlocking the city’s potential without constantly hitting ratepayers in the pocket.
I know where I’ll be putting my vote - Bill Ralston for Waitemata and Gulf.