Coun­cil­lors Rep­re­sen­ta­tion Re­view

South Waikato News - - BUSINESS HOTLINE -

I need to place this ad­ver­tise­ment to ad­vise the cit­i­zens and ratepay­ers of the South Waikato of my po­si­tion in re­la­tion to the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion Re­view as it af­fects the Ti­rau Ward.

In­cluded here is a full copy of the Ti­rau Com­mu­nity Board (TCB)/T.M. Mag­ill Sub­mis­sion lodged with Coun­cil – please read the Sub­mis­sion and judge for your­self whether this is tan­ta­mount to a threat. The Mayor has said … “so I was per­turbed that some­body would make the threat that if you don’t do what we want we will move”… - I think not and can ad­vise con­clu­sively that was and is not my in­ten­tion what­so­ever.

All that the TCB and my­self would like is that the sta­tus quo be pre­served. I be­lieve that …“if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. There are no ef­fi­cien­cies what­so­ever to be gained by im­ple­ment­ing Coun­cil’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

The TCB work well and work hard for the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of the (ur­ban and ru­ral) por­tions of the Ti­rau Ward. If the TCB is “dis­solved” there is no “re­place­ment” en­tity to rep­re­sent the Ward. The TCB is very cost ef­fec­tive, paid a very mod­est sum which is paid for only by the Ti­rau Ward. There is no mo­ti­va­tion for any re­place­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion from the area – (such as a re­tail­ers or busi­ness own­ers group).

The CEO (Craig Hobbs) has been quoted as say­ing …“Mag­ill has pushed the us against them (Ti­rau) con­cept”. This is patently un­true. The only mo­tion (I can re­call) not sup­port­ing Toko­roa was the $1mil­lion spent on the im­prove­ments to Lake Te Moananui (when it was in­creased from the ini­tial $650,000.00 (ap­prox.) cost of the project). I thought the in­crease was ex­ces­sive. Oth­er­wise, I have taken a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach with mat­ters con­cern­ing the Toko­roa and Pu­taruru Wards and my vot­ing record would sup­port that.

Mr Hobbs also stated that I have the low­est at­ten­dance of all Coun­cil­lors – at­tend­ing 40 of 68 meet­ings in the last year. The mes­sage he is por­tray­ing is that I am not do­ing my bit at Coun­cil. I don’t be­lieve that this is rel­e­vant to my ef­fec­tive­ness around the Coun­cil Cham­ber. I have a full­time job and I some­times – fol­low­ing pe­rus­ing the Agenda be­fore­hand – make a con­scious de­ci­sion that my pres­ence at a par­tic­u­lar meet­ing would not pro­vide any value and I go to work in­stead. Be­sides, 40 days of meet­ings (i.e. 8 full weeks out of a year) is not a bad at­ten­dance rate over 12 months in my opin­ion.

Be­com­ing a Coun­cil­lor should not be the pre­serve of plus 65 year olds who oth­er­wise have no other em­ploy­ment or oc­cu­pa­tion or may have jobs where re­place­ment staff are read­ily avail­able. We need an age bal­ance, em­ploy­ment bal­ance and gen­der bal­ance around the Coun­cil Cham­ber to give the best and widest pos­si­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

I was given six weeks leave of ab­sence ear­lier this year (by the Mayor) due to ma­jor surgery. I have also been bat­tling with can­cer and am re­quired to at­tend Hos­pi­tal rel­a­tively of­ten.

Mr Hobbs (CEO) – by his com­ments – has also im­prop­erly in­ter­fered in mat­ters of Gov­er­nance which is the pre­serve of the Coun­cil it­self. He has ob­vi­ously taken a per­sonal po­si­tion against me (i.e. I am part of his em­ployer – the Coun­cil). He has crossed the line in his com­ments and should with­draw those crit­i­cal com­ments as the sole em­ployee of Coun­cil (i.e. Coun­cil it­self ap­points only the CEO. The CEO then has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to em­ploy ev­ery­one else that works at SWDC). Coun­cil­lors are able to dis­cuss any con­cerns they may have but it is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able for Mr Hobbs (as the Coun­cil em­ployee) to at­tempt to dis­credit me in this man­ner.

The Mayor and CEO sought a legal opin­ion to de­ter­mine that I am un­able to par­tic­i­pate at the Coun­cil ta­ble when it makes its fi­nal de­ci­sion (in late June) about the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion is­sues. I ac­cept that.

The Mayor (at the Ti­rau meet­ing) spoke (in lengthy terms) that it was his per­sonal opin­ion that the num­ber of Coun­cil­lors should be re­duced from 10 Coun­cil­lors to 8. His view was out­voted by the Coun­cil and yet he con­tin­ues to pur­sue this po­si­tion. In that case (and if he con­tin­ues with this po­si­tion) then the Mayor (and per­haps the Deputy Mayor) should also not take part in the fi­nal de­ci­sion (as like my­self the Mayor should not par­tic­i­pate in a Coun­cil de­ci­sion where he dis­agreed with a duly passed and ap­proved Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion).

The Mayor at the TCB Rep­re­sen­ta­tion meet­ing said that the moves to do away with the Ti­rau Ward and the Ti­rau Board were in the in­ter­ests of ef­fi­ciency yet was un­able (de­spite be­ing ques­tioned sev­eral times) to pro­vide any rea­sons that would jus­tify any ef­fi­ciency what­so­ever. This is be­cause (in my opin­ion) there is no ef­fi­ciency (fi­nan­cial or oth­er­wise) but rather just a long held and stub­born view that the Com­mu­nity Board is not re­quired – de­spite the logic ex­pressed em­phat­i­cally by the Ti­rau peo­ple at the meet­ing who want the TCB to con­tinue and to re­tain its Ward sta­tus.

It is in­ter­est­ing to note that over 100 peo­ple turned up to ex­press their views at the Ti­rau meet­ing. Other iden­ti­cal meet­ings were held at Toko­roa, Pu­taruru and Ara­puni – and a to­tal of (ap­prox.) six (6) peo­ple turned up at those meet­ings.

The Mayor re­ferred to the “har­mon­i­sa­tion” of rates which benefits Ti­rau and that the Ti­rau Wa­ter Sew­er­age Sta­tion (cost­ing $399,103.00) and the main­te­nance costs of the Ti­rau Me­mo­rial Hall are shared across the dis­trict. With re­spect, that is com­pletely ir­rel­e­vant. There are a huge num­ber of projects and ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture in (par­tic­u­larly) the Toko­roa Ward which are funded across the dis­trict. The Lake Te Moananui restora­tion project be­ing merely one such re­cent case. In fact, I can­not think of any ar­eas of cap­i­tal (rates) ex­pen­di­ture in Toko­roa which are not funded across the whole Dis­trict – apart from pos­si­bly the on­go­ing costs of the se­cu­rity cam­eras go­ing into the CBD of Toko­roa – no de­ci­sion has yet been made on that.

When you look at the col­lec­tion of rates across the dis­trict and the cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture – Toko­roa does ex­tremely well out of rates “har­mon­i­sa­tion”. I has­ten to add that it is ap­pro­pri­ate that Toko­roa re­ceives more than its per capita share of fund­ing – hav­ing re­gard to it be­ing the Coun­cil base town and the par­tic­u­lar so­cial and com­mu­nity is­sues that Toko­roa con­tin­u­ally faces.

It is re­gret­table that this rep­re­sen­ta­tion is­sue has evolved into a per­sonal con­dem­na­tion by the Mayor and our CEO against my­self. I would have thought that within our dis­trict that a Coun­cil­lor is able to ex­press his or her hon­estly held views with­out per­sonal attack – in­deed it is my job to ad­vise all of the Coun­cil and to ex­press the con­cerns of the peo­ple re­sid­ing in the Ti­rau Ward.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.