The latest outburst from Bill Dalton which garnered national coverage is typified by his complete misunderstanding of the concerns of the ratepayers he purports to represent.

In appealing to his 12 councillors and their friends to commence a campaign of public support through this paper and social media to emphasise the success the NCC has enjoyed under Wayne Jack whose contract is currently up for review, shows a clear bias to the incumbent.

Like many others I would have thought that this would have been left up to the 7 member PR team.

While acknowledging a number of candidates have already applied for the position of Napier CEO, Dalton does not wish to lose the incumbent - and this is all before he has interviewed a single individual!


I believe this is a clear case of bias and it is obligatory upon the council that he plays no part in the interviews.

A current councillor confirmed to me that Dalton had for the past 6 months openly stated his preference for the status quo to remain.

Perhaps Bill Dalton would care to deny these comments through this paper?

Instead of ratepayers' funds being spent on our decrepit water and sewerage infrastructure it has been wasted on reports for the (now-shelved) $30 million Velodrome project, trips to California to "study" aquariums for the $25 million expansion project while at the same time delaying the refurbishment of McLean Park, thus losing 2 ODI matches next year.

Meanwhile our water is continually contaminated and sewage pours into the Ahuriri estuary. Vanity projects and commercial gambles trump the health of our ratepayers under this regime.

Thus a record rate rise to pay for on-going losses at the MTG, Aquarium and ludicrous amounts for Velodrome reports - a project nobody wanted except Wayne Jack.

But the worst example of sheer arrogance and ensuring the public are kept in the dark is the War Memorial fiasco.

Both the Mayor and CEO had the agenda prepared but without the public being aware - until too late.

Such items can be in the public excluded items if they concern commercial sensitivity.
But where was the commercial sensitivity in unilaterally changing the name from War Memorial Centre to the Conference Centre ?

Where too was the commercial sensitivity in ripping out the Eternal Flame and Roll of Honour ?

In preparing such an important agenda item it is mandatory for the CEO to ensure that ALL relevant information is included thus ensuring the councillors can make a fully informed decision.

It is up to the mayor to ensure that such a report is included before a discussion takes place and a vote taken.

Both failed.

Thus we have a growing number of councillors publically claiming that they did not have all the information available on which to base an informed decision.

This decision, made without the facts being disclosed, should be nullified at the next council meeting.

In his intemperate email to councillors Dalton makes the point that their families are upset at recent comments criticising the council on social media.

So why not think of the hard-pressed ratepayers, many of whom are on fixed incomes, who lose sleep over this year's rate increase which is nearly five times the rate of inflation ?

John J Harrison is a former Napier City councillor. All opinions are the writer's and not those of Hawke's Bay Today.