Hill launches bid for council

By Zaryd Wilson

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Dave Hill
Dave Hill

The latest candidate for Whanganui District Council wants a hold on the new Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sarjeant Gallery development until all alternatives have been investigated.

Dave Hill has announced he will be standing for council in the October elections.

Mr Hill's background is in business and management with 37-years in the media industry.

He now owns Funky Duck Cafe at Virginia Lake.

The Whanganui man said he had been thinking about standing for a while and made the decision now that he could step back from his business interests.

"I've been critical of council for quite some time, I've written letters and I feel very passionate abut the place," he said.

"A lot of people say council is not a business but I'd argue against that. It should be run like any other business and that is getting the best return for the shareholders, in this case the ratepayers."

Mr Hill said Whanganui had been in decline - both in population and in economic terms - for the past two decades.

He also said Whanganui debt of $70 million, which would increase to pay for the wastewater treatment plant, was having a negative impact on the city.

"This debt burden will place the shrinking number of ratepayers under severe financial burden and stifle any council development for decades to come," he said.

All council expenditure should be based on a cost versus benefit equation, he said.

"WDC should not be investing in private business like the flying school. Their role is to act as a facilitator and seek private enterprise or investors to invest in it and operate it."

He also wanted to see money put into promoting Whanganui as a cost effective alternative to relocate to because of its low-priced housing, supply of industrial buildings, central location, and infrastructure.

He said WDC needed to become the most business friendly council in the country.

"Feedback I have obtained from developers and businesses is 'council are not cooperative, slow to take action and not interested in entrepreneurial ideas'," he said.

Some of his ideas for the city include investigating the benefits of relocating the public Library to Victoria Ave, reducing the number of councillors from 12 to nine while making councillors contractually obliged to attend 80 per cent of meetings and introducing kerb side recycling to the city.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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