Recently letters to the Editor from Councillors (HDC)and the Mayor's supporters have been defending the activities of our Council, regarding policy or expenditure of ratepayer's money. There have also been letters attacking ratepayers who question these actions/activities calling them ill-informed.
If it is perceived that they are ill-informed, is it because a significant number of agenda items of the Council and Community Board Agendas are held behind closed doors or In Committee. Are they trying to hide their poor financial management and communication skills, i.e. a debt level of $52.75 million as at the 30th June 2013?
Most ratepayer groups objectives are to keep Councils open and honest, by publicly highlighting issues that the communities should know about. Unfortunately, the only way Councillors or Mayors can defend their incompetency is by restricting the print media from printing comments or attacking the person or organisation that voice their views in our local community newspapers.
People who stand for local or central government cannot afford to be thin-skinned or timid - they have to represent the communities diligently. If they are not prepared to get to their feet and thoroughly debate all issues then they should not stand for election.