Coun­cil staff paid more than very well

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Coun­cil-per­for­mance com­par­isons pub­lished in Hutt News last month in­di­cate that Porirua an­nual rates are $340 more than Hutt City.

Porirua also has $1206 em­ployee ex­penses per ratepayer, com­pared to $683 for Hutt City.

In Kapi-Mana News (June 17), we read in your ed­i­to­rial that Porirua City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son is paid $312,000 per year, that five of his se­nior staff are at $200,000 or just un­der, and that 30 coun­cil em­ploy­ees are paid more than $100,000.

It does ap­pear that our rates are go­ing dis­pro­por­tion­ately to sup­port high salaries of coun­cil em­ploy­ees.

As you say in the ed­i­to­rial – the coun­cil by and large does a com­pe­tent job. Ratepay­ers would be hap­pier if the coun­cil did a more-than-com­pe­tent job, con­sid­er­ing how much of our rates go to em­ployee ex­penses. will not know.

It is a beau­ti­ful old build­ing that sits on a lit­tle hill next to the fire sta­tion in Ti­tahi Bay.

I am only as­sum­ing that the name came from the fact that there is a beau­ti­ful view of the sea and the hori­zon.

Hori­zons is un­der the um­brella of Welling­ton Af­ter­care As­so­ci­a­tion.

The way people at­tend Hori­zons varies from one per­son to the next.

Some come in one door, say hello to ev­ery­one and leave out the other door.

Oth­ers at­tend for four or five days a week.

We all have vary­ing de­grees of men­tal ill­nesses and/or phys­i­cal or in­tel­lec­tual dif­fi­cul­ties.

For 22 years (since some of these people were ‘‘moved’’ out of the old Porirua Hospi­tal – by or­der of the wise people in con­trol), Hori­zons has pro­vided a safe, sup­port­ive, em­pa­thetic, en­cour­ag­ing place for many people, in­clud­ing my­self.

It has given many of us a sense of fam­ily, be­long­ing, pur­pose, a rea­son to get out of bed in the morn­ing.

Many people have come and gone from Hori­zons.

Some have moved on, taken a job or, strange as it may sound, have other things in their life.

If I pic­ture Hori­zons, I see it as a see­saw, with Hori­zons in the mid­dle, of­fer­ing bal­ance in many people’s lives.

Even if just a lit­tle bit, it makes a huge dif­fer­ence when, my­self in­cluded, we will prob­a­bly need to do this for the rest of our lives.

The ex­ec­u­tive board of the District Health Board has made a de­ci­sion to close this pre­cious re­source by with­draw­ing fund­ing (which is mi­nus­cule by to­day’s stan­dards) and putting the money into yet an­other ‘‘new’’ idea.

Most of the people who this af­fects are dev­as­tated by this clo­sure.

Yet again, men­tal health is a tar­get of cut­backs.

Be­fore I go, did I men­tion that ap­par­ently this is not about money!

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