Money is tight in Council and getting tighter all the time as the Mayor sucks every last cent out of the rates for his pet projects whilst plunging Council deeper and deeper into debt. Experienced Boards adopt a ‘use it or lose it’ attitude to funding because they know that just because something is in the budget today doesn’t mean it will be there tomorrow.
So no surprises when this appeared in the Herald saying the Mayor is so short of cash he’s threatening to break his election promise to hold rates rises to an average 2.5% while simultaneously looking to slash budgets.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown may break a key election promise to hold overall rates increases at or below 2.5 per cent this term.
Mr Brown could not give a guarantee to keep the promise as he headed into a meeting this morning to discuss a new 10-year budget.
Councillors, Local Board members, council agency staff and members of the Maori Statutory Board are being given the first overview of the budget that could slash up to $2.8 billion of new spending over 10 years.
Resolution number WHK/2014/164 26 June
b) Requests further information on possible Local Board Capital Fund options in line with the board’s resolution of 5 December 2013:
“That the Waiheke Local Board requests officers provide more information for the Local Board to allocate the Local Board Capital Fund (in conjunction with the footpath programme review), noting the board’s priority to be footpaths that address safety issues, access to schools, and areas identified as obstacles to
For goodness sake, if they can’t use their own initiative to decide what to do they could look at the footpath priority list that Auckland Transport already has drawn up following community consultation over several years. They could also look at the road seal priority list for those who’ve been screaming to have their roads sealed for years.
All members of this Board were loud in their condemnation of the previous Board for making decisions they did not like. Then they got rent-a-mob to protest the results of any action and their pet propaganda sheet to publicise the protest. The problem we have now is a Board that is unable to make any decisions at all let alone get results, unless of course it’s to junket their friends around the Gulf or give gifts to the schools for a pool that isn’t going to happen.
This prevarication could easily result in the money disappearing before the community gets any benefit. Not a good look when Waiheke ratepayers are facing the highest rates rise in Auckland.
It is even more disappointing to see they are so focused on ‘everything for the kids’ that they want to pour this $200k into providing “priority to be footpaths that ….access to schools.” What, more money for the High School and Te Huruhi roading projects on top of the several hundred of thousands spent there by the former board and community boards before that. Does nobody else in the community matter? I think we’ve all got the message that we don’t. Anyone remember Treadwell’s promise that providing for the an aging population was a priority? What a joke.
Now that rates demands are dropping into our letter boxed like invitations to debtor’s prison I suggest the last thing ratepayers want is to see their cash vanish without any tangible benefit.
All talk and no action essentially makes this a duck-board, i.e. it’s achieved nothing. In fact it’s achieved less than nothing, if you count the scuppering of a community pool, and abandonment of nearly a million dollarsworth of projects already funded. It’s all very well to elect a Luddite Board whose sole purpose is to turn back the clock. The problem is we’re paying handsomely ($20million is the rate take from Waiheke) for the privilege. If they’re so intent on doing nothing I’ve got a better solution – vote yourselves out of existence and save us all a heap of money.