Noting that retiring Horowhenua District Councillor Nathan Murray has bravely admitted at the last HDC open meeting for this triennium what we have always suspected - that pre-meetings are held behind closed doors before the public meetings are held. So there is literally In Committee before and after the public meeting. That explains why some Councillors sit and say nothing in the public meeting. The speakers have been assigned beforehand. Such a shame that a newbie like Cr. Kaye- Simmons was never allowed to develop her public debating skills.
Cr Murray is to be congratulated. A pity though that he had not stood again for re-election so that he could have an opportunity to change the secrecy ethos. On the other hand he would always be outnumbered.
So for those of you who have not cast your votes, think again. Who can you trust to conduct our local government business openly and with honesty?
It's also worth noting that when that last meeting held on 2nd October 2013 opened there were only three identifiable candidates sitting in the public gallery. Ross Campbell from Miranui, Bryan Ten Have from Levin and Michael Coupe from the Foxton Community Board. If all candidates can't find the enthusiasm to attend Council meetings why should anyone vote for them? It's telling us that most of them are there for the money, not for the people whose vote they are asking for. Simple as that.
Finally, one has to wonder that if the Horowhenua Ratepayers & Residents Assn. Inc had provided an option for all candidates to participate in a closed pre-meeting before the public meetings we had organised, whether they would have felt able to all participate when facing the public. No wonder the Mayor and some of his cohorts would not agree to speak at our meetings. They obviously cannot cope.
Be careful who you vote for.