The loss of Cr Gail McIntosh left some large boots to fill both in terms of intellect and work ethic. While we have a by-election for one seat, the outcome could change the direction of council significantly.

There are two ways council could head following your vote.

Out of 11 elected members, broadly speaking, there are  two political blocs which have very different views about ratepayers’ money.

I’ll characterise them as the  bloc that wants to ‘invest more’ (four councillors) and those that want to be ‘more economical’ (another four).

Both blocs balance each other out, which leaves three councillors who, including the late Cr McIntosh, could sit comfortably in either camp depending on the issue.

Your choice could tip the balance either way. Do you believe it’s time for council to spend more on the city and that an average 9.6 per cent rates increase each year over the next three years is a small price to pay?

Or is it your view that we need to work smarter and can’t keep increasing the rates bill at over four times the rate of inflation?

Whichever view you hold, as a citizen of this city, make sure you do something about it and vote!

Next week, I’ll discuss what I believe the city needs from our new councillor and some commentary on those who have indicated they might stand.

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