Who In Council is About to Dig a Nice Hole?
That being a $30 million HOLE after the Long Term Plan (2012 – 2022) has been set in (virtual) stone and monies both in and out “accounted for.” Well it seems after the former Manukau City in which Len Brown was Mayor rejected this upcoming proposal, the proposal is back at Auckland Council‘s (led by Len Brown) feet and might get very well approved OUTSIDE of the provisions of The Long Term Plan.
Whale Oil explains in this post:
by Whaleoil on September 5, 2012
The Auckland Council will shortly apply its laser-like analysis of what constitutes value-for-money to a rehashed venture located at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau. The scheme includes a demand for $30 million from Auckland Council, with the apparent hope of millions more from the taxpayers in the form of a government subsidy.
This scheme was rejected by Manukau City Council prior to amalgamation. At the time the former council went out to its community and called for public input. Submitter after submitter came before councillors to outline their disdain for free-spending initiatives.
Auckland’s Long Term Plan has been finalised. The budget was set and the region purportedly has its budgetary house in order starting from 1 July this year. Or does it?
Less than two months after the budget was set the mayor is demanding 3 per cent savings from local boards, those pesky entities that actually deal with ratepayers who have the temerity to demand value for money. Those boards, which have cut and cut in order to comply with Len Brown’s budget demands are now being directed to make further savings.
What’s the bet that Auckland Council will sign up to the whitewater rafting deal with no questions asked? If so, where will the money come from? When will the community get to have its say on the proposal? When will democracy apply?
Auckland Council has now lost $233 million after tax in its first full year of operation. Eye-watering liabilities such as land acquisition to build sneaky Len Brown’s rail tunnel are yet to be factored in.
Lyin’ Len Brown’s 10 year budget will grow to around $12.5 billion, which equates to nearly $20,000 for every ratepayer. The interest cost of that debt alone will gobble up a quarter of the rates that Aucklanders will be forced to pay.
In a climate where local government losses in Auckland are now measured in the hundreds of millions and the debt mountain is measured in billions, the price tag for low quality ventures like whitewater rafting no longer seems excessive. Auckland the mayoral office as a taste for no accountability … it even wants to deny Aucklanders the right to appeal its draft unitary plan.
Why switch on the television to see stories of the destruction of economies in Greece and Spain when that same tragedy is happening in Auckland?
$20,000? Heck that is a bucket load of my annual wages in measuring equivalence here!
The point being though is that The Long Term Plan is set and not back up for deliberations again when the LTP 2015-2025 is up for submissions in two years time.
So as far as I am concerned the proposal should be FLATLY REJECTED until the Long Term Plan 2015-2025 is up for submissions in due time. To otherwise would set a precedent for just about every living person or organisation to come cap-in-hand to Council outside of the LTP process and “ask” for money…
Last I look that is not how you run a budget, household, business nor institution unless want to go bust or bankrupt even further!
Furthermore, setting a bad precedence with your budgetary management will drive a wedge between you and your “clients” (in this case the ratepayer) for when you come with your proposal for some mega capital project – that is needing to be done sooner rather than later (enter the City Rail Link). However if Council can not get its act together and both budget plus follow the budget processes properly then why on heck I am going to trust you with MY MONEY in the long run for a critical mega-project like the CRL. Because simply put I can not trust you – pure and simple!
No trust – no projects!
So is Council about to dig itself a $30 million HOLE that could easily dwarf out to a $3.6 BILLION CRATER? We shall soon find out.
Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland
Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL
- Finances: If my family has to live within its means then so does the civic institutions that impact on us greatly (that being Council and Government). You work out your income, then what you can spend on – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND as with Auckland Council
- Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
- Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
- Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions: you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.