Roger Hutton points this out in a sage comment on yesterday’s blog
It is interesting to note the 'spending plans' for the current local board
in its budgets for 2016-17.
The current local board is strongly in favour of de-amalgamation so this expenditure gives us a window into how they would handle such an opportunity.
$150,000 in partnerships with community groups for a project loosely described as 'wetland restoration' and $24,000 for implementing a Little Oneroa action plan, whatever that involves. Apparently the use of Glyphosate herbicide is strongly recommended for controlling the weeds in wetland areas.
I would suggest that probably the bulk of this funding will go to WRT.
$100,000 has been budgeted for the Matiatia Gateway master plan.
Step up Direction Matiatia and its committee of spatial experts.
If a small fortune hadn't already been spent on another of this board's pet projects 'Essentially Waiheke', this futile exercise will be granted another $10,000.
spent $20,000 of our money promoting its brand. Now it plans another $10,000 in the run up to the election. God forbid they should use their ratepayer funded incomes to fund their own campaign.
A budget of $100,000 has been set aside for the next two years for a swimming pool. It's like a drop in the ocean, if you'll pardon the pun. At this rate you shouldn't bother to buy a new bathing cap for at least 10 years!
Also, as we have already seen, this may be dipped into to provide the readies for any other pet project that needs to be 'reported' on.
Marine Research and education has been given $25,000. Who are the 'educators' and hasn't this just become another bottomless pit?
Then of course there's $40,000 for the development, marketing and promotion of something referred to as 'active transport' which apparently will see more of us walking, cycling or horse riding.
Well I'd like to inform the board that all of these activities are already well known and throwing another pile of money at it won't do anything to increase the interest of those who simply aren't interested.
Do we really need to spend $5,000 to assess the wildlife on our coastal walkways? Sounds to me that this project will lead to even further funding in order to follow up whatever it is they discover. And on it goes.
Then there's $37,000 budgeted for community events of which $17,000 will be for Christmas events.
Do they mean that most of this budget will go to groups who will then monitor and advise those who are charged with actually running the event? This then would be similar to what we saw last Christmas.
Finally there's a $60,000 allocation set aside for community housing (that should help a lot), a community 'facilities' review (yet another one!) a business mentoring programme (no doubt run by Shirin Brown or John Meeuwsen) and Maori events (there's that 'events' word again).
The Waiheke Youth Council will however be pleased to know they can once again prepare for "Party time!" Note: Check Adult Literacy is free to supervise.
So basically the 'spending plan' will do nothing for the average Waihekean. It's just more money being thrown at the same community groups with the same end result.
It is interesting to compare this Board’s failure to achieve anything with the successes of the first Waiheke Local Board, especially so when there was no discretionary budget at all for its first eighteen months in office. The first WLB also secured funding for projects worth $1.4 million for the betterment of the community which it handed on to this failed Board. And what did the ‘Essentially Waiheke’ Party do with the money? It handed it back to Council saying it did not want the $750,000 expansion of the Onetangi Sports Park pavilion, it did not want the $250,000 to build recreational boat ramps on the northern side of the island, it did not want $450,000 to refurbish the old library space into a centre for the arts.
Roger is right. This is a know nothing, do nothing Board worth nothing to Waiheke. They should be voted out of office in October.