Feeling energised

Last updated 16:38 28/11/2013
rebecca amundsen
FAIRFAX NZ
New Invercargill City councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

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OPINION:  

For the next 100 days southlandtimes.co.nz will follow newly elected Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

She's not an unfamiliar face to people  who live in Glengarry, or those who voted for her.

She's a mother, a landlord, a project leader and now a city councillor.

But this isn't just our project, it's yours too.

Get involved by posting comments, asking questions and answering polls each week as we follow Rebecca's first days in office.

Each week Rebecca will also write about her council musings.

 

After very little council-related things happening last week I have had a busy three days of council things this week.

Monday started off with a tour of the Invercargill City Library for city councillors. 

Despite being quite familiar with the place as I have worked there before and I spend some time there as part of my work, I went along. 

If you haven't been for a while I would recommend it - they offer a lot of new services now including free internet and wi-fi and you can even borrow e-books.

Next stop was my first committee meeting - Community Services. 

This committee covers things like the library, swimming pool, council housing, neighbourhood support groups and the bus service. 

Our role as councillors is to make sure these departments are sticking to their budgets and achieving the targets they have.

Finally for Monday was a sister-city dinner at the marae in Bluff with a delegation of visitors from Kumagaya.

On Tuesday my council duties included the next committee meeting - Regulatory Services. 

To be honest I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this committee too much. 

But I was excited to learn that many departments that come under Regulatory Services are looking at ways to be better connected with the communities they deal with. 

I also learned about the city centre repainting initiative which is available to city centre building owners. 

Grants can be applied for to assist in covering some of the costs involved in repainting these buildings.

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I was also pleased to hear that the development of a Local Approved Products Policy for psychoactive substances will be happening. 

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 allows for councils to develop these policies which I know will not go far enough to solving the issues they cause but it is a relief that the council is taking a proactive approach to this issue.

My next council appointment was a visit to Bluff on Wednesday as part of the Urban Rejuvenation Committee to meet with the enthusiastic and active Bluff 2024 group.

I can't help coming away from groups like this feeling energised. 

They have been working hard in their community doing things like clean ups and working bees and are focused on creating a more dramatic entrance to the township.

Finally on Wednesday I attended a meeting between the council and developers and designers who deal with the resource management and building consent departments of the council. 

The council surveyed developers and designers to look at ways they could develop better relationships and make the processes run more smoothly. 

It was good to see that the council is well on its way to creating an attitude of partnership with the community and I hope I can support them in their efforts.

If you have any questions about the council or me please get in touch.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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