Who noticed the empty chairs around the council table when they were discussing the LTP submissions?
Although submitters were given options in the community to talk to some staff and councillors, no one has had the opportunity to address the full complement of councillors after submissions closed.
Those who chose to make written submissions in Rotorua were directed to respond to a few issues deemed "material" by council.
But what about the issues that ratepayers may also have deemed material?
My LTP submission included a suggestion that someone with a lived experience of disability should be employed to ensure this sector of society gets a fair deal was dismissed by councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.
She said it was not necessary to have a disability to understand the issues. Really? Then can she answer me why so few independent people with vision impairments or using manual wheelchairs can be seen around the central business district?
Why are there so few yellow tactile pavers to help them get around safely?
Why are so many footpaths and cut-outs unsuitable for wheelchair users and elderly people using walking frames? Councillors should try getting around in a manual wheelchair sometime, or with a blindfold.
Unfortunately the issues now need serious funding to make a difference, and in the past submissions to the LTP have been the most appropriate avenue for ratepayers to get the message across. But ratepayers are clearly not welcome at the council table, and must make their views known by other means. Is this democracy? (Abridged)
New parking meters
I can't figure out how the Rotorua Lakes Council is going to save $500,000 per year by contracting out the parking service to i-Park.
It sounds like we are still going to have to go to the new meters to pay for our parking but we won't have to go back to our cars to display a ticket because modern technology will enable the parking wardens to check if we have actually paid by checking number plates.
Does this also mean the individual coin operated meters will be removed?
Half a million per year?
Is i-Park doing this for the good of its health?
The i-Park parking wardens will have their work cut out getting around checking each number plate to see if it's in the system and how long it's been there or how much time is left.
What's to stop people from just parking for short periods without going to the meter box?
At least the individual meter in front of their cars would get them paying for it, if they were going to pay.
We'll have to wait and see how long this flash technological stuff lasts. Time and number plates will tell.