Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - J Mclaren, Queen­stown

In­ter­est­ing to read the pro­posed coun­cil­lors’ views on what they will do for Queen­stown. Sadly, only one men­tioned our debt

($85.5 mil­lion), which is a disgrace and a shame on pre­vi­ous coun­cils.

Whether coun­cil­lors like it or not, run­ning a town this size is a busi­ness and the books should bal­ance ev­ery year. The easy way out is to to shove it onto the ratepay­ers.

It is not the ratepay­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay for coun­cil’s over­spend­ing. It is also not the ratepay­ers that should even be con­sid­ered to pay for a con­ven­tion cen­tre, that none of us will ever use. I thought user-pays was the way. Let some busi­ness per­son build and op­er­ate it. It is an in­di­vid­ual busi­ness. Coun­cil is not there to take gam­bles on run­ning busi­ness, it is there to run the area and the ser­vices that are needed, for its peo­ple.

There should be a freeze put on rates. They are too high al­ready for peo­ple to live here that are not in the mil­lion dol­lar bracket - that’s your work­ers, re­tirees, mid­dle class peo­ple who were born and bred here, who worked hard to make the town a place for peo­ple to en­joy. Sadly, it is not a place for peo­ple to en­joy any­more.

In­stead of a hol­i­day place to re­lax, it has be­come a night­mare, and un­less coun­cil stop let­ting de­vel­op­ers break up more land for a few years and just de­velop what we al­ready have, old houses and land, then peo­ple will stop com­ing. The town can­not cope - sim­ple!

All coun­cil­lors need to re­mem­ber that they need to lis­ten to the peo­ple be­cause they are put there by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple and they are paid ser­vants. Sew­er­age, roads, rub­bish, water, foot­paths and green ar­eas, th­ese are all the prob­lems they need to keep run­ning smoothly.

Sec­tions and land that be­long to the coun­cil, ac­tu­ally be­long to the peo­ple. It’s their as­sets too and be­fore coun­cil thinks of sell­ing land off for cheaper hous­ing...re­mem­ber, its all been done be­fore by pre­vi­ous coun­cils, and th­ese peo­ple stay for a while and when a price rise comes, they all sell, take the profit and go. So per­haps coun­cil should lease the land on a 100 year term, giv­ing coun­cil an in­come and the town and its peo­ple still have an as­set.

Things need to change for the town and its peo­ple. Lo­cals have lost their life­style.

Re­gard­ing the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil. This needs to go off our rates. This is just another area drag­ging off us all. Those ar­eas need to stand on their own feet. The lo­cal peo­ple, ratepay­ers, de­serve a bet­ter deal than what pre­vi­ous coun­cils have given us.

When the new elected coun­cil­lors take their seats they need to have some busi­ness knowl­edge, some peo­ple skills and know when to stop spend­ing other peo­ple’s money. We need brains, good think­ing and wis­dom to get our town back on a debt free road, so we can get our life­style back.

We need coun­cil­lors who know when to stop spend­ing other peo­ple’s money, writes J McLaren.

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