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.