Published date07 April 2022
Publication titleCentral Otago News
While correcting our misunderstanding that Contact Energy had funded CODC to deal with the impact of Lake Dunstan’s silting-up, Leanne Macdonald also noted that this silting-up ‘‘doesn’t fall within council’s jurisdiction’’, and therefore no budget ‘‘needs to be put in place’’

Given that this situation apparently isn’t the council’s responsibility, and isn’t within the council’s budget, have councillors established who should be paying for these additional costs?

If councillors haven’t established this, what’s the justification for ratepayers having to pay to rectify a situation that’s neither within council’s jurisdiction nor its budget?

●What representation have those councillors without a conflict of interest made to those who have jurisdiction concerning the silting-up issues, to recompense CODC for these additional costs?

This year the mayor advised ratepayers there’s no consultation needed in advance of councillors determining what we’ll pay in 2022-2023 rates.

For transparency, and given the council’s acknowledgement of anticipated substantial additional costs, specific responses are sought to the following:

●How much extra, dollar-wise, would this proposed additional $6.92million have ratepayers paying annually on average, per ratepayer?

●When will this anticipated increase commence?

●When will this proposed additional cost be paid off?

●Which of CODC’s ratepayers will be paying this extra debt?

Secondly, should the new councillors determine they want an external review around CODC’s effectiveness;

●Have councillors set aside funding in the 2022-2023 budget, and if so, how much?

Councillor debate online (January 2022) included some councillors seeking assurance this amount would be included in the 2022-2023 budget.

To ensure a new council could undertake this review soon, we expect straightforward reassurances identifying this funding in the 2022-2023 budget. If not, the response should be specific about why such funding isn’t included.

These queries are about governance and elected members’ decisions.

Councillors’ voices and positions are sought on these issues, ever mindful 2022 is election year.

Mary Ann and Rod Baxter

Alexandra

REPLY:

Over the past year or so elected members and staff have responded to detailed questions from the Baxters through letters to the editor, face-to-face meetings and through their submissions to council. While we are happy to engage with members of the community it can be a challenge to answer complex questions...

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