Letter - Waipa mayor 'out of touch'

Last updated 08:02 07/01/2013

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The mayoral profile on Alan Livingston (December 27, Waikato Times) tells me the mayor is still not listening to Waipa ratepayers.

Many Waipa people and even councillors are disillusioned with him.

He comments "people need to look at the big picture on spending" - (I quote) $409 million!

I, along with many ratepayers, find this frightening. Ratepayers are going to have a rope around their necks forever.

I wonder how the young girl pictured with Alan Livingston on the front cover of Waipa‘s 10-year plan will feel when she grows up saddled with massive council debt that she and her contemporaries will have to pay back, as a result of Alan Livingston's delusions.

What about the here-and-now people on a fixed income going without "treats" like simple winter heat? Older folk who have worked hard all their lives, find their savings being gobbled up by council rates.

The mayor's delusion of turning Waipa into the sporting centre of New Zealand may be good for his ego. It's not good for Waipa ratepayers in a recession.

The mayor describes Waipa as the best district in New Zealand. This is true but it has been created by farmers and people working 24-7, not by the mayor or council.

Mayor Livingston needs to learn what the people want.

He has not listened to one word ratepayers have said. He is out of touch. (Abridged) MALCOLM HUME

Ohaupo Development costs Waikato Times (Jan 2) reports that the Hamilton City Council is considering shifting the cost of growth from developers on to ratepayers driven by development contribution discounts for commercial CBD and healthcare projects in a looming shortfall in expected income.

"One of the things I asked was for different modelling to be done, and since council hasn't discussed any of it yet these are simply options," said Mayor Julie Hardaker.

Two scenarios propose increases of 22 per cent or 70 per cent for Rototuna ratepayers. This is the same thinking from the failed capital value (CV) rating system.

To suggest that property owners who have acquired a higher-value property will pay more simply because the council perceives they have the ability to pay is untrue, pompous and condescending. It is socialism - the redistribution of wealth.

Consider people on fixed incomes. What do they get for paying more? Do they get more services or better services? Or more bang for their buck?

Roll on the elections. C K KREEGHER

Hamilton Monopolist The council's development fees per section have gone up at a very rapid rate in recent years. They are now headed for about $32,000.

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The council has, unfortunately, acted in recent times without forethought and without any realisation of how commerce and the real world work.

Former mayor Michael Redman and company wrongly assumed that one could add on interest each year to the concrete sunk in the ground waiting for developers, builders and home owners paying up. Obviously, work put in too early compounds in cost and full recovery becomes increasingly more difficult.

In a chat with the council's strategic head, I pointed out to him that in recently opening up three more areas for development, full recovery of costs in Rototuna would not happen and the council's outlay in the other areas would be even less profitable. One could sense he agreed with me, and I also sensed that the council had not listened to him.

You must also wonder why the council's modellers could possibly imagine that it was possible to go back to existing Rototuna properties and levy them an extra $550 a year! It is an uncommercial, unfair, unrealisable, but a monopolist's attitude.

Given the council's real need for recovery of sunken costs, levying new Rototuna properties an extra $1750 rates would effectively throttle back the number of new properties being settled in Rototuna. The developers may also successfully sue the council for not abiding by their contracts with the council. BRIAN HASKELL

Hamilton Brothel sites Reading the story in the Times of January 1 reminds me of the past. When Michael Redman stood for mayor there was a hot debate around Hamilton on brothels and he was elected by the voters on the understanding that he would not permit brothels in the city close to schools and places of worship. He was elected and he kept his word.

Now Victoria St is going to have a strip club at Cubbyhole bar near the famous Lone Star and Iguana restaurants. Lone Star is a chain of restaurants and none of the branches spread throughout New Zealand have strip clubs near them. Both Lone Star and Iguana restaurants keep up a very high standard and people love to have a meal there. No decent restaurants have survived by the side of other strip clubs in Hamilton.

We have a solicitor mayor and experienced public relations deputy mayor, who are supposed to stand at the next election in October. It is time they look into how permits are issued for, 1. Strip clubs 2. Liquor outlets 3. Lotto outlets. Some of the roads have four or five outlets. Do we need them? MANO MANOHARAN

Hamilton

- Waikato Times

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