The motion to spend $120k on cycle lanes along Onetangi Rd was CARRIED by a vote of four to one. Member Paul Walden requested that his vote against the motion be recorded.
When residents tell me the island has never looked better I tell them that it’s largely thanks to the Board’s discretionary funding for SLIPs (Small Local Improvements Projects). Local boards use SLIPs to fund improvements that wouldn’t otherwise be possible through our budgets. This Board lobbied hard to get about six times the discretionary funding for SLIPS that was available to the previous community board. We were then successful in getting SLIPS written into our long term plan.
The more discretionary funds available to your Local Board the bigger the difference we can make locally. The board has both operational expenditure (opex) and capital expenditure (capex) budgets. We use our capex to build the island’s asset base. This is the only way we can achieve some of the long term projects that have been on-going for the last twenty years or more, like the Round Waiheke Walkway. With assets come ‘consequential’ opex which means the Council has to fund the maintenance of the asset. In this way we get more ratepayer’s money spent locally.
An example of a SLIP is the cycle lanes on Onetangi Rd. The Board has a commitment to more cycle lanes on Waiheke. When Auckland Transport told us Onetangi Rd was due an upgrade we asked for cycle lanes to be included. AT told us they didn’t have the $300k plus funding it would take. By using $120k of our SLIPs money we were able to leverage the remainder from AT to make it happen. That’s why it’s important to build good relationships with all parts of Council. Working smarter, building trust gets greater value for you, the ratepayer.