Controversy From Start To Finish
There is very little about the way that this project was managed that inspires confidence in Council. A commercial project that is in direct competition with ratepayers is never a good look.
Did council need to get involved in this kind of endeavour, which is well outside their area of expertise as was shown by a half million dollar blowout on a 1.2 million dollars project?
Questions have to be asked of those charged with oversight of the project. Yes, it appears that reporting was not carried out in a timely manner but surely the people or person in charge of the project should have picked up on this and been asking questions before 500 000 dollars was spent without authorisation.
The Mayor tells us that this is part of their plan to increase revenue and hold rates down. A spend closing in on 2 million dollars is a lot of rates they could have kept down. What would the difference on rent return have been if the council had constructed a container mall as councillor Greening had suggested? I am thinking it will take a number of years to pay back the difference from their “good investment.”
Mayor Kempthorne said “Ratepayers are not being asked to bear the costs of either the Shed 4 development or the other work that has taken place at the wharf. Income from our commercial activities, including the rents from Shed 4, will be used to repay the loan funding, and income from the sale of a surplus block of land will go towards it as well.”
I may be missing something here, but who owns the “our commercial activities”? It seems that Mayor Kempthorne has been in council too long if he has forgotten that we (the ratepayers) own the commercial activities, and as such, we are bearing the costs of loan funding. And even if he argues that he meant we are not bearing the funding out of our own personal income, he is not counting the cost of less money available for essential service upgrades and maintenance.
Then, of course, there is the disgrace over the fence. This kind of petty behaviour has been a blight on our council for a number of years. The statistics of the number people who have taken the council to court and won suggest that court agrees. But there a number of reasons the fence has to be built according to our engineers (rapidly trying to cover everyone’s butt?) says the Mayor. Again, councillor Greening was the lone voice asking for solutions to the problems without building a fence. A stand over-ruled by the Mayor who said very early on “the fence would go ahead and the council intended to support its tenants’ interests.”
Tenants’ interests or ratepayer interests, which is more important to you this council elections?
We won’t even go into the rest of the debacle over contractors being appointed without tenders sought, which likely cost ratepayers money, and leaves councillors open to allegations of impropriety whether true or not.
Is this the council you want to oversee a dam construction?
Time for a change?
What do you say?