Your Mayor needs to be a leader, good listener, be well informed, have a clear and coherent vision, understand how things fit together, can differentiate between the important and the trivial, and be a reasoned and consistent advocate for our great city.
I believe that you deserve more than sound bites. I have set out headlines, but backed them up with a lot of detail. I have set out a six year programme in transport, urban development, economic, social, cultural and environmental areas.
There are new ideas, many of them things I am actively working on right now. However I am very conscious that the new ideas which some candidates are promising will cost you and I a very large amount of money, and I am not going to do that. New promises outside Council’s existing budgets need to be offset by savings elsewhere.
At the beginning of my term as Mayor, I will work with councillors to :
- Agree a clear strategy for the next 3 years and a timetable for delivering on that strategy.
This didn’t happen in the last two terms of Council, and it showed.
- Agree a community consultation programme each 3 years
Where and when should we focus the community and our engagement resources.
- Allocate councillor responsibilities to focus on the key deliverables
- As Councillors we will focus on delivering the agreed strategy and work constructively together even where there are disagreements over details within that strategy.
- Ensure we work together with trust, integrity and respect.
- We will exercise tighter financial discipline.
- We will work within the existing level of rating projections, and seek to reduce those where possible.
- I will establish a Budgetary taskforce including external expertise to assess the budget line by line if need be to ensure best value for your money.
- We will take more time to digest those big projects, for example deferring for now plans for an Indoor Arena (approx $100 million) and reducing the cost of Basin Reserve lights. Why budget $9 million for lights when lights for Dunedin’s University Oval were planned at less than $2 million ? That alone would pay for the one promise I am making of any scale – for two inner city parks- which sits outside Council’s current budget.
- We will always seek value for money, ensure processes that avoid erratic spending decisions and always be guided by a clear coherent strategic direction.
- Our budgets should allow you, the citizens of Wellington greater ability to influence levels of service and therefore levels of your rates.