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Letters to the Editor

Changing the system

Apologies, we missed this letter last week)

In your paper you have exposed a succession of ineptitudes (or less than their best) from our district and regional councils in the handling of our affairs. In a recent issue, you gave the front page to our Mayor Len Salt who told us that he had received "significant donations from government, from Westpac and from the people of Waiheke Island" for the relief of our community after the floods. In the following line, I read that Mayor Salt ( or Council) had appointed yet another public servant to help with the Transport Plan and the disposal of rubbish and commercial waste. This new burden on our rates money is going to cost us half a million dollars working two days a week. He was last employed to find $300 million for our polytechs, a job he appears to have given up last August, since when he has been unemployed and retired in his home in Whangamata. TCDC has woken to the fact that Coromandel's roads are in need of immediate attention. This is not a new discovery but recent flood damage has forced our Council to look like they are doing something about it. (Why on earth did they not apply pressure in the years prior to this to get attention for non- maintained roads? This is aimed at the previous Councils.) Len Salt's immediate reaction was to employ a "Recovery Manager" in the hope that he can increase the amount of road funding to the Coromandel by 40%. When we learn that the newly appointed Manager failed to acquire funding for the Polytechs in his last position, we have to ask why we should be so keen to cough up another quarter of a million dollars to employ someone for a skill that does not seem apparent. What sickens is the Council’s acceptance of their own ineptitude; one hundred council workers and they have no idea how to proceed. Instead, we find ourselves paying $5 a minute for another ‘Manager’ onto whom Council can shift responsibility for yet another area of our needs it cannot face. We have an election coming up this year and, with each publication of the Informer, we are learning more areas in which government is letting us down. We are reading ideas and knowledge from contributors who are clearly better informed than those in government and yet we continue to subscribe to a system which keeps us subject to the ignorance of our "representatives". It is high time for a change of government system, one into which we can all contribute. It is not good and bad people on staff, or devious would-be politicians, it is the system which is at fault. We elect a council of 12 or so people who find themselves entirely ignorant of the various issues involved in practically all the matters of council and these 12 people are expected to speak, "democratically" for the inhabitants of 50,000 households. This new form of government needs to appear as an option on our October voting form. Anyone who wishes to give their opinions and ideas about how such a revised form of self government might be managed please send them to John Veysey Colville


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