Letter - Deflecting debt concerns

RAY STARK
Last updated 08:28 12/06/2012

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Hamilton City Council's overspending is fuelling a massive buildup in debt.

Trying to deflect these concerns, councillor Gordon Chesterman said in an Auckland newspaper (May 22) "the figures proved to its critics that the council was sticking to its core business – pipes, water and roading" and "it shows people are mistaken when they say councillors have wasted money over the last five years ... the figures show a balanced view of the debt".

Those figures showed that, of $236.5 million spent on "infrastructure", 57 per cent went on core business and 41 per cent on "nice to have items". Incredibly, Chesterman considers these "figures show a balanced view of the debt".

When any entity, let alone one spending public money, allocates 41 per cent of its expenditure to "nice to have items", something is seriously wrong. It is hypocritical that Chesterman, a successful businessman, can be so darn wrong when spending other people's money.

Hamilton's "Floodgate" fiasco revealed concerns over the city's stormwater system. The inner city is near dead. Debt has doubled in the past five years.

Hardworking ratepayers know what the council is doing. They are unlikely to fall for Chesterman's misleading statements.

RAY STARK

Hamilton

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