Mitchell the new man
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.