Northern Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Dis­cus­sions made by coun­cil and alike make no com­mon sense of ben­e­fit the ratepay­ers and peo­ple who use the fa­cil­i­ties in Waimakariri.

1. Nar­row­ing of our nice wide streets which are which per­fectly met ev­ery­one’s needs.

1a. Ac­cess re­stricted to pass­ing cars parked on the road­side, bikes hav­ing to manouevre into the cen­tre of the road, emer­gency ve­hi­cles try­ing to pass safely, peo­ple back­ing out of drive­ways — all un­safe prac­tices.

1b. In­tro­duc­ing grass verges, who mows these? Again, gen­eral Joe Bloggs has to. Mow­ing fees should be paid by coun­cil, not throw­ing more com­mit­ment onto the ratepayer.

2. Trip to China for a se­lect few for coun­cil in­clud­ing in­ter­preters at what cost, and what ben­e­fit to the ratepayer. What a lot of rot. Wake up coun­cil, it seems it’s a so­cial trip for which gen­eral ratepay­ers need no more added ex­pense.

Get on with the job you are em­ployed to do, not wast­ing ratepay­ers monies.

Mike Thomp­son.

Sounded pretty good to me, and well worth my vote in last year’s Ran­giora ward by-elec­tion, to suc­ceed a good mate of mine and a man of in­tegrity, the late Peter Allen.

You can imag­ine my sur­prise then, and that of oth­ers to whom I have spo­ken, when I saw on a Waimakariri District Coun­cil video last week that the newly re­in­stated Cr Bar­nett was head­ing off to China on a jun­ket paid for by those very same ratepay­ers she had sworn to keep rates down for.

If that is a com­mit­ment to cost sav­ing and keep­ing rates down then ob­vi­ously Cr Bar­nett de­fines that slightly dif­fer­ently to the rest of us.

And this is be­fore we even got to the pro­posed in­door courts fa­cil­ity, which I am re­li­ably in­formed by on eof her coun­cil col­leagues, she will be vot­ing for.

There’s another $27mil­lion or so we are told of ratepayer funds be­ing blown on a fa­cil­ity the district does not need.

We have a city just down the road with such fa­cil­i­ties after all, and most of those in the district who would use it com­mute into the city to work any­way.

Up to 90 per cent of the com­mu­nity will never use it, and yet they will be pay­ing $90 a year for it. And no doubt it will wind up be­ing more, with the hid­den costs we are not yet be­ing told about.

While Cr Bar­nett and her col­leagues have their nice ratepayer funded salaries with which to pay that sum, try liv­ing on a pen­sion for a while and see how much of a dif­fer­ence $90 a year makes then.

And that will im­pact on more and more of us as time goes on, as the coun­cil keeps say­ing that our pop­u­la­tion is get­ting older.

Well per­haps it doesn’t im­pact on all of us: I’m told the head of com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties at coun­cil, who is be­hind this ridicu­lous op­u­lence, isn’t even a ratepayer in Waimakariri, so he won’t be con­tribut­ing a cent!

As lowly ratepay­ers, we don’t get to vote for the masses of coun­cil staff.

We do get a vote for coun­cil­lors though, and we ex­pect them to be true to their prom­ises.

If Cr Bar­nett is be­ing true to hers, I chal­lenge her to ap­pear in these pages next week, re­in­forc­ing her com­mit­ment to the words she stood on, and declar­ing pub­licly that she won’t be vot­ing for the in­door courts and will be with­draw­ing from this ridicu­lous trip to China.

If she is not pre­pared to make that stand in pub­lic, and be to­tally trans­par­ent with those who voted for her, then one would have to ques­tion what she ac­tu­ally stands for.

And in that in­stance, I am prob­a­bly not the only one in Ran­giora who would like to have my vote back!

Paul Ni­cholls, Ran­giora first.

It is also of in­ter­est that there is no men­tion of the users of this com­plex hav­ing to do any fundrais­ing.

When the cov­ered pools were built the coun­cil made the cov­ered pool com­mit­tees fundraise hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars. There has been no men­tion of the run­ning costs, or will it be self-fund­ing?

The coun­cil needs to give the ratepay­ers all the fi­nan­cial costs be­fore putting this out there for de­bate.

Be care­ful coun­cil­lors as some ratepay­ers can­not af­ford cham­pagne fa­cil­i­ties when they are on a beer in­come.

Garry Cattermole, Ka­iapoi

Kirstyn Bar­nett has come un­der fire for opt­ing in to a trip to China after vow­ing to ad­dress coun­cil spend­ing.

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