The Horizons Regional Council's annual plan is out for consultation as councillors head into local body elections.
At least five councillors have decided to stand down, Whanganui councillor David Cotton said. One of them is long-standing Palmerston North representative Paul Rieger, QSO.
Cotton says he will stand again at the October elections, and there could be a lot of upskilling required if there are many new councillors after that.
Neither Cotton nor fellow Whanganui representative Nicola Patrick found many controversial matters in Horizons' 2019-20 annual plan.
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Rates are expected to stay at an average 4.72 per cent increase. There are some extra costs, including an extra $300,000 for insurance.
This year that can be accommodated within budget, but Cotton said the council may have to look at "self insuring" or taking on more of its own risk in future years.
Submitters may want to ask the council to increase the small spending increases on freshwater and climate change made in the long-term plan, Patrick said.
Cotton is pleased with an extra $6.5 million from the Government for the Sustainable Land Use Initiative. He says it will enable the council to subsidise work on properties that do not have a whole farm plan done by the council.
The region's various flood control schemes are having their annual hearings, and he wants to see some new faces "to keep us accountable".
This year the council is not holding separate meetings where submitters on the annual plan can be heard. This is to save cost, Patrick said. Instead it will slot people who want to be heard into the public forum part of existing meetings.
"There will be less hearings and more digital engagement, but we are still available for people to speak face to face."