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City Chatter – Make Your Vote Count

Sep 19, 2019
1469 Views

Over the past three years this column has provided information and insights into issues of vital interest to City Council ratepayers such as the museum closure, the Don Street development, the CBD development and the WasteNet tender process.

In areas where we found the Council to be acting in ways which were not in our view in the best interests of ratepayers, or the city as a whole, we have signalled that the relevant Councillors would be held accountable at the next local body elections.

That time has now come.

Four Councillors have earned our support for their actions over the past three years. As covered in many City Chatter columns, they have consistently made positive contributions in Council this term in relation to the above issues.

In addition, we have sent many emails to all Councillors seeking appropriate information relating to their individual responsibilities and policy choices, in the interests of transparency and accountability, and these four Councillors have consistently responded to our enquiries. Most of the rest have steadfastly failed to respond at all, seemingly forgetting they are paid by and accountable to ratepayers.

The Councillors we are happy to endorse on this basis are Councillors Lindsay Abbott, Alan Arnold, Toni Biddle and Ian Pottinger.

Finally, we would like to suggest that voters can use their votes most effectively if they vote only for the candidates who they support. There is no need to use all the votes you are allowed to cast. Research shows that searching to fill the maximum number of possible votes leads to choices based on insufficient information, or simply name recognition, which can sometimes inadvertently negate the choices the voter actually wanted.

This is the time to exercise your power as ratepayers and make choices that stack up for what you want to see happening in the council. We need to feel listened to when we disagree, to feel welcome when we take the time to go to ICC meetings, to feel that the people we elect see themselves as our representatives not our bosses.

City Chatter article for 19 September 2019 edition of Southland Express

Over the past three years this column has provided information and insights into issues of vital interest to City Council ratepayers such as the museum closure, the Don Street development, the CBD development and the WasteNet tender process. In areas where we found the Council to be acting in ways which were not in our view in the best interests of ratepayers, or the city as a whole, we have signalled that the relevant Councillors would be held accountable at the next local body elections.

That time has now come.

Four Councillors have earned our support for their actions over the past three years. As covered in many City Chatter columns, they have consistently made positive contributions in Council this term in relation to the above issues.

In addition, we have sent over 150 emails to all Councillors seeking appropriate information relating to their individual responsibilities and policy choices, in the interests of transparency and accountability, and these four Councillors have consistently responded to our enquiries. Most of the rest have steadfastly failed to respond at all, seemingly forgetting they are paid by and accountable to ratepayers.

The Councillors we are happy to endorse on this basis are Crs Abbott, Alan Arnold, Biddle and Pottinger.

As a group, we believe that our spokesperson Nobby Clarke has shown that he has a sound and detailed grasp of the issues facing the City, and would be a very valuable addition to Council if elected.

Based on their contributions to previous Councils, we are also pleased to endorse Thelma Buck and Wayne Harpur.

Finally, we would like to suggest that voters can use their votes most effectively if they vote only for the candidates whose policies they support. There is no need to use all the votes you are allowed to cast. Research shows that searching to fill the maximum number of possible votes leads to choices based on insufficient information, or simply name recognition, which can sometimes inadvertently negate the choices the voter actually wanted.

City Chatter
By Kathy Morrison, Invercargill Ratepayer Advocacy Group.

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