May­oral chal­lenges

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

Our new mayor con­fronts some real chal­lenges. The first is to in­stil in the coun­cil­lors some old­fash­ioned re­spon­si­bil­ity.

The coun­cil­lors are elected as trustees on be­half of all of us. They must value the as­sets and am­bi­ence of the city. This means they must pre­serve what we have and not hand it over to pri­vate in­ter­ests. The sec­ond chal­lenge is to make coun­cil­lors ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for spend­ing $70 mil­lion of other peo­ple’s money each year. It is com­mu­nal money, and it is not to be used to ad­van­tage the few.

The ma­jor prac­ti­cal task of the mayor is ed­u­ca­tion: he must teach the coun­cil­lors how to gov­ern, teach the pub­lic how to par­tic­i­pate in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, and bring the of­fi­cers to a new un­der­stand­ing of our re­quire­ments. Our mayor needs to bring his in­tel­lec­tual lead­er­ship to the fore.

With­out this we will con­tinue to be the high­est rated place in New Zealand. We will con­tinue to waste mega-bucks on Aotea La­goons and the devel­op­ment of the town cen­tre in the in­ter­ests of prop­erty own­ers who are smart enough not to in­vest their own money in their build­ings.

I wish all the new coun­cil­lors and the new mayor all the best of luck. But re­ally, there is no luck about it. Cities around the world face the same prob­lems that we face and they have found plenty of so­lu­tions. All we need to do is give up the mad pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with growth and in­come-mak­ing schemes. - ROBERT SHAW,

Pa­pakowhai un­bi­ased and al­low the facts to be the ba­sis of any de­ci­sions re­gard­ing such po­ten­tial devel­op­ment. - SARAH PIPER,

Whitby. When a con­flict of in­ter­est arises it is stan­dard prac­tice for a city councillor to ac­knowl­edge it and pre­clude them­selves from any de­bate and de­ci­sion-mak­ing on the mat­ter – Edi­tor. de­ci­sion to charge usu­ri­ous late pay­ment penal­ties was due to gov­ern­ing leg­is­la­tion. The truth how­ever, is that the de­ci­sion to charge up to a max­i­mum flat 10 per cent is dis­cre­tionary. Mr Mar­shall was quite disin­gen­u­ous in his re­sponse.

The sec­ond, from Bar­bara Ber­cic, re­gard­ing the plac­ing of Liz Kelly’s elec­tion sign at Aotea on State High­way 1, only partly cov­ers PCC rules. There are many more than those re­ferred to, in two sep­a­rate doc­u­ments which con­flict with each other. Pos­si­bly the most im­por­tant omis­sion in her re­sponse is that elec­tion­eer­ing signs are not al­lowed on state high­ways (al­though a spe­cial ap­proval is doc­u­mented for Mana Es­planade’s ‘‘ap­proved’’ site).

As so of­ten has been the case, it seems both em­ploy­ees have rushed to get some­thing into print and not been suf­fi­ciently aware of the na­ture of your read­ers to know that half truths will only land them in deeper wa­ter. If the new mayor does not deal with such is­sues read­ers can rest as­sured that res­i­dents will keep rais­ing them. - BRIAN COLLINS,

Pa­pakowhai. PCC act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive David Rolfe re­sponds: Mr Mar­shall and Ms Ber­cic were not disin­gen­u­ous or in­ac­cu­rate in their state­ments. Word lim­its in the letters sec­tion of the news­pa­per pre­vent re­sponses cov­er­ing ev­ery as­pect of the Lo­cal Govern­ment (Rat­ing) Act 2002, elec­toral reg­u­la­tions and coun­cil by-laws.

Coun­cil needs to work with build­ing own­ers, ten­ants and po­ten­tial in­vestors to pro­vide a qual­ity en­vi­ron­ment with good in­fra­struc­ture, which is es­sen­tial for city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion.

A run-down, un­cared for and empty shop­ping area will pro­vide a very at­trac­tive en­vi­ron­ment for an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour,

How­ever, we as re­tail­ers and build­ing own­ers are do­ing our best to see this does not hap­pen by con­tribut­ing more than a mil­lion dol­lars over the last eight years to fund a Main­street pro­gramme and by ap­ply­ing good com­mon sense rea­sons to re­vi­talise the city cen­tre.

The gen­eral ratepayer has not con­trib­uted one cent to this fund.

- ERIC JONES, Man­ager, Canopy Con­nec­tion.

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