As I begin to focus on the coming local elections I worry about a number of things as I read pamphlets and try to understand motivations.
My desire is to see Rotorua and its surroundings prosper and become the model it ought to be, a model we are proud to be a part of.
Most prominently I wonder how we can be "living within our means" when we are supporting a huge and rising debt.
Lovely as it would seem, the Lakefront improvement might be an ongoing and unquantified expense, making the cost of its construction seem insignificant. We have not been told any details of the real cost.
I think we ratepayers are owed the courtesy of an explanation of exactly where our money is going and what we can afford so that we can feel ourselves part of the region we want to be so proud of.
Living on the never-never doesn't work and I, for one, want to feel I have some control over our situation. (Abridged)
Plethora of candidates
Our local community's Rotorua Daily Post is once again doing a great job informing us that there are a plethora of candidates vying for our vote so that they can represent us and vote on governance. They are not responsible for operational matters, that is the function of the civil servants that they hire to do this, all "as far as practicable".
Elected councillors should not be involved in the daily grind of decision making.
To my mind they should be able to intervene if they are concerned about bad operational decisions.
The Local Government Act spells out that the purpose of local governance is "to enable democratic local decision making by and on behalf of communities", which begs the question; "what if the elected representatives make bad decisions on our behalf?"
So it is wrong when our representatives on the hustings are publicly asked to respond simplistically with yes or no answers to complex policy items that require in-depth exposure for good decisions to be made?
Who has the time to seriously consider all the information available or understands it?
I suppose that is where I get to vote in or out firstly a leader and their team in the hope that they shall make the right decisions on their watch on my behalf.
Of course, this means that if I, or ratepayers who care enough, get to primarily vote for the leader (the mayor) whom to my mind is the most important person in local governance to oversee the changes, or not, that I believe are necessary for good decision making on behalf of our community.
If one does not vote they get the governance they deserve. (Abridged)
Joseph J Gielen
Good on John Rakei-Clark (News, September 13) for his brilliant idea on housing the homeless.
There is nothing offensive or inhumane about putting a roof over someone's head, ask any homeless guy.
This is typical of our society today, in my view, councillors make everything sound so complicated and hard that people just give up trying to help the homeless.
I'm sure there must be an empty warehouse somewhere that would be suitable. (Abridged)
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