$500,000 is a massive amount of money to give to a private trust with no accountability or transparency for ratepayers as to how the money is being spent, and nothing to show for it in terms of action. That amount would have gone a long way towards a swimming pool for the community as promised by this Board three years ago. Once again a failed promise and no action, the hallmark of a Board that is big on propaganda and cronyism and total lacking in achievement and delivery.
The other $6000 of the $30,000 is to pay unqualified members of the Trust to make a coastal wildlife assessment. What is the purpose of such an unqualified assessment and why does it cost $6000? Well you can bet your boots it has nothing to do with wildlife and everything to do with finding excuses to stop dogs being able to use the walking tracks as this Board continues its vendetta against dog owners and animal lovers (except horses). Last month is denied funding to the island’s SPCA, one of the few groups to denied while the Board’s spent up large on its favourites ahead of the local body elections.
The race is on for this failed Waiheke Local Board to spend (waste) as much of ratepayers’ money as they can ahead of the local elections. There is a sense of panic in the air as the ‘Essentially Waiheke’ ticket becomes a toxic brand for the infamous five now occupying their very uncertain seats at the Board table. Better to make sure next year's money is gone just in case they don’t get re-elected.
They are right to be worried. The community is desperate for some sanity to return to local government on Waiheke. Every day people ask who will stand against this team that has been so divisive for the island. The mood is for change, for people who have experience, for people who will not squander their rates on self serving schemes that line the pockets of the few at the expense of the many. The community wants action and achievement not flights of fancy and failure.
I am sure good people will stand so there is a real choice. What really matters is that voters choose wisely. That means not wasting their votes on any of the present Board members.