When Waiheke rates have risen by 50% on average over the last six years at a time when inflation over the same period has only been 10% it is little wonder people get upset when basic Council services aren’t being provided. Ratepayers have a right to expect they will get good value for their rates. It is the responsibility of your elected representatives to make sure Council meets its obligations in respect of these fundamental services. Bleating to the press every week about it not being the fault of the current Local Board that everything is going to pigs and whistles shows a defeatist or worse, ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude. A substantial part of the job is liaising with the various Council departments and organisations to make sure they are on the ball.
I have made getting back to core Council business a priority if I am elected because ratepayers have a right to expect that basic services aren’t neglected. Yes, money is tight, but that is all the more reason to elect people who know how to get the most out of what they’ve got. It also requires people who are prepared to work WITH Council not against them. Protest politicians, like the members of the current Board, make the very worst elected representatives because they make Council the enemy. Is it any wonder then that the island is looking sadly neglected?
It’s time to get back to basics, make core services a priority and start getting better value for money from our rates.