Mitchell the new man

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

Eden-Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board’s new­est mem­ber says he’s looking for­ward to mak­ing a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity.

City Vi­sion’s Si­mon Mitchell won the board’s April 9 by­elec­tion and puts his victory down to a strong cam­paign with vot­ers con­fi­dent in the way City Vi­sion coun­cil­lors and com­mu­nity board mem­bers ad­dress lo­cal is­sues.

“We’re mak­ing noise about SH20 and Bal­moral McDon­ald’s, the pro­tec­tion of vol­canic cones and the pol­lu­tion of Meola Creek,” Mr Mitchell says.

“It’s the lit­tle things we can do as a com­mu­nity board that make a dif­fer­ence to the peo­ple and qual­ity of the area.”

Mr Mitchell has lived in Mt Eden for nearly 20 years and says as a res­i­dent and par­ent liv­ing in an area gov­erned by traf­fic he strongly ad­vo­cates a tun­nel to com­plete the west­ern ring route.

“It would be nice, fi­nally for a change, not to have cars dic­tate our com­mu­nity.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited and look for­ward to rep­re­sent­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity about this,” Mr Mitchell says.

Pro­tect­ing her­itage homes, re­vamp­ing shop­ping cen­tres like Mt Al­bert and gain­ing bet­ter com­mu­nity out­comes for the Eden Park re­de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing im­proved pub­lic trans­port, are also a pri­or­ity, he says.

“Some things we want to see, we’re not get­ting,” he says.

“Changes to the rat­ing struc­ture which puts the bur­den on to lower and mid­dle value prop­er­ties, the pos­si­ble clos­ing of the San­dring­ham Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and fund­ing cuts to coun­cil events, all th­ese cost-sav­ing mea­sures are cut­ting into things that im­pact greatly on our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mr Mitchell says he is looking for­ward to the new lo­cal gov­er­nance struc­ture which pro­poses more com­mu­nity boards but says the devil is in the de­tail.

“If there are more com­mu­nity boards with less re­sources, power and in­flu­ence in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, they will just be a voice that won’t achieve any­thing.”

Eden Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Christo­pher Dempsey wel­comes Mr Mitchell to the board and says he’s looking for­ward to the con­tri­bu­tion he will make.

“Si­mon will bring valu­able per­spec­tives to the dif­fer­ent is­sues faced by the board.

“I thank all candidates in the by­elec­tion for their con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity by stand­ing for the va­cant seat and en­gag­ing with res­i­dents of the ward.”

Coun­cil­lor Glenda Fryer says she is thrilled to have for­mer com­mu­nity board mem­ber Eleanor Har­vey re­placed by an­other City Vi­sion mem­ber.

“It was a hard-fought cam­paign with a re­sound­ing re­sult that shows Eden-Al­bert wants City Vi­sion to rep­re­sent them.

“Com­mu­nity boards may be abol­ished but while we’re still go­ing we will con­tinue to fight for the com­mu­nity,” she says. Com­mu­nity mem­bers are get­ting se­ri­ous in their “tun­nel or noth­ing” cam­paign, with thou­sands of post­cards, signs and a ban­ner be­ing read­ied.

The pend­ing de­ci­sion of the State High­way 20 Waterview con­nec­tion has spurred the com­mu­nity into action, with the like­li­hood of large protests fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment.

Waterview, Mt Al­bert and Owairaka would be di­rectly af­fected if a sur­face op­tion was de­cided on.

A plan­ning meet­ing was held in Waterview last Wed­nes­day and Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Paul Davie says there are 2000 post­cards for the pub­lic to send to Trans­port Min­ster Steven Joyce.

Mr Davie say ban­ners will also be put up, one pos­si­bly out­side Prime Min­is­ter John Key’s home and 150 bill­boards will be dis-

Strong vote: Si­mon Mitchell, the suc­cess­ful can­di­date in the Eden-Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board by­elec­tion, puts his victory down to a strong cam­paign and con­fi­dent vot­ers.

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