Test­ing times for coun­cil

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Porirua City Coun­cil got in­volved in sev­eral touchy is­sues this year.

The canopies in the CBD came down in Jan­uary and while that cre­ated much pos­i­tive feed­back, the de­ci­sion on whether to re­place them has dragged on in­ter­minably.

The 4.8 per cent rates rise for Porirua res­i­dents, and the prom­ise of sim­i­lar rises in fu­ture, was de­cried by many as ex­trav­a­gant.

Mayor Nick Leggett’s pam­phlet, jus­ti­fy­ing the rates in­creases, didn’t sit well, nor did low­er­ing the rates in­stal­ments from five to four with­out prior warn­ing.

Other brick­bats for coun­cil in­cluded the Satur­day mar­ket saga, over-zeal­ous park­ing war­dens tick­et­ing school gala­go­ers and the Porirua 50th com­mit­tee im­plod­ing.

There were pos­i­tives for the coun­cil, too.

It came up with $1 mil­lion to help Aotea Col­lege fund a per­form­ing arts cen­tre, pitched in to res­cue the floun­der­ing Porirua Sports Awards, took over man­age­ment of the Bernie Wood Turf, named the Porirua Park grand­stand af­ter Jerry Collins, over­saw the bril­liant 50th fes­tiv­i­ties and re­acted quickly dur­ing and af­ter the May 14 floods.

The coun­cil at­tracted more head­lines over Porirua Lit­tle The­atre get­ting an ex­ten­sion to find fund­ing for Ti­tahi Bay Marines Hall, sell­ing off 30 re­serves and pock­ets of land, the Spicer Land­fill smell, ask­ing the Gov­ern­ment to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for pri­vate hous­ing, buy­ing the New Zealand Post build­ing, and get­ting the Cob­ham Court up­grade un­der

‘‘The 4.8 per cent rates rise . . . was de­cried by many as ex­trav­a­gant.’’

way.

Next year’s lo­cal body elec­tions loom.

There will be some change around the coun­cil ta­ble. Mayor Nick Leggett is ru­moured to be con­sid­er­ing a tilt at the Welling­ton may­oralty and Porirua coun­cil­lors Bron­wyn Kropp and Ken Dou­glas have con­firmed they will not seek re-elec­tion. Tim Sheppard and Litea Ah Hoi may also stand aside.

Our coun­cil re­port card in March again gen­er­ated feed­back – Leggett and coun­cil­lor Izzy Ford came out on top, and John Burke and Ah Hoi fared worst.

Since Wendy Walker took over from Gary Simp­son as coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive in Septem­ber, there has been change among the coun­cil se­nior ex­ec­u­tive.

Long-serv­ing David Rolfe has de­parted, and other changes are likely.

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

The Ti­tahi Bay Li­ons-run Satur­day mar­ket, forced out of Porirua’s CBD, is now based at Wai­tan­girua. The is­sue cre­ated neg­a­tive public­ity for Porirua City Coun­cil.

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