SunLive         

Rates rises forever or a better way?

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

I once was appointed a juror in a fraud case where a kindergarten administrator was accused of doctoring invoices. She claimed that they all fell out of a folder and into a puddle which washed off the amounts. Rather than ask for duplicate receipts she ‘re-typed' the amounts out of fear her ‘carelessness' would be exposed. The game was up when the prosecution asked “why were the re-typed amounts on every single invoice higher than the original?”

Each year, every council in New Zealand justifies an increase in rates invoices –in many cases above inflation. There are legitimate reasons for this such as costs put on councils by successive governments' requiring new tasks and regulations. The insatiable demands of a growing community hungry for a better city and the increasing cost of construction materials such as bitumen are often cited as reasons too. However, councils with declining populations seem to argue the opposite to justify their rates rising and when the cost of materials falls during a recession, the savings don't result in a rates decrease either.

A potential solution is for mayors to prepare council budgets as they are empowered to do under the Local Government Act. Few do, and instead we have a process where it is up to management to provide a budget and councillors vote on a few contentious items, often losing sight of the forest for the trees. Council investment in Tauranga is a record $368m this year. As work on the 2018-2028 budget begins, councillors need to support their mayor to lead it.

Comments


simple question

Posted on 12-06-2017 18:20 | By Captain Sensible

Steve, it's a simple question; do you pay for your meals at work, or does the ratepayers?

ME TINKS

Posted on 09-06-2017 05:32 | By old trucker

That Councillors with beards shows a sign of LAZINESS,(which i read in a book on workers) Gosh steve you are always trying to find ways to screw us, when i went to Tcc in old building i asked to see a engineer about a problem i had on me section and needed help,well a couple of suit wearing manicured guys (after wating half hr) come to counter,i told them of problem,and they said you need to get a Engineer to come and have a look,(BUT) it will COST YOU,me thought GOSH you are suppose to be one(DAH) but NO they weren,t interested and walked away,there is a problem with washout or something,(BUT) unless i PAY,they will not come and look,(my rates about nearly $3,000) this is unfair,maybe those 2 were in a hurry to get their free smoko,OR polish the Mayors shoes,this upsets me Sunlive.Thankyou.10-4 out.

Who pays for your meals Steve?

Posted on 07-06-2017 22:21 | By Captain Sensible

Come on Steve, can you answer the question about who pays for your meals...us or yourself?

i

Posted on 05-06-2017 08:36 | By Capt_Kaveman

still want to know what happened to my flood levee from last time and since it did not go on flood prevention i then believe my rates this time should be O, if i was a councilor id be out there clearing road storm grates myself as some are not cleaned at all, councilors are on a good income and do very little productive work

free lunch for you ...or not?

Posted on 04-06-2017 20:22 | By Captain Sensible

Sorry Steve, but I have no faith or confidence in any of you and think the Keystone Cops could do a far better efficient job. BTW, do you lot get free lunches/meals or do you bring your own food to work?

Stop meddling in non-council business

Posted on 04-06-2017 12:44 | By The Tomahawk Kid

Another idea for preventing rates increases would be to put a set of rules in place dictating what council should NOT and will not be involved in.Council often get involved in things that should be none of their business, but councillors (in their efforts to be popular with the public) get involved in these these things to prove their worth.Stick to the essentials of council business. Allow private enterprise to provide the "nice-to-haves"Spend more effort making the way clear for THEM to succeed but with no responsibility to the ratepayers if they fall over.



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