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What do the candidates in the 2010 Clutha District Council election stand for? The Otago Daily Times has given all nominees the opportunity to answer two questions.
1: Voters are concerned about the level of council spending. How will you keep rates down while retaining essential services?
2: What are your goals and what should the priorities be for your council?
1. Given that our long-term plan has indicated rate levels for the next 10 years, I would put it to voters that if you want lower rates you must decide what services you are prepared to do without.
We as a council are very aware of people's situations and try to deliver the best return per dollar spent by ratepayers.
2. My priorities for the council are to maintain and add to the district's infrastructure and make strategic investments within our district that will make it a better place in which to live and work.
We must reverse population decline and grow the ratepayer base so we are ready for future opportunities as they arise.
1. My nine years in council gave me an insight into a fundamental flaw in the system: by allowing council costs to consistently escalate at a pace far in excess of the district's income, council is contributing to slowing growth, undermining confidence and denying individuals' rights to control their destiny.
My plan is to directly link council spending to the rate of inflation. This allows council to maintain present momentum with decisions that reflect our district's ability to pay.
2. Our district needs real change. We need a long term, realistic, sustainable plan that will work in these difficult times. We desperately need new ideas that reflect everyone's needs.
My time on council has always reflected this ideology, and my vision has always been for a council focused on providing core services and letting individuals get on with improving their own and their district's fortunes. This is where true growth will come from.
Did not respond
1. Our district needs more people. This in itself will help spread the costs, which will keep rates down. But that takes time, so it is important that at this time we only spend on essential services.
We must live within our means.
2. To improve the well-being of the community; increase the number of people in the district; always have doctors for the young and old; promote the district as a great place for families; keep the district free from poker machines.
Our council priorities are to keep cost down, to always be accessible, to work to the betterment of our district and to improve health and financial well-being for all.