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The city has not had such an association since 2013, but an incorporated society was set up at the end of last year and it is now calling for expressions of interest for people to form a committee.
Acting chairman Murray Lawrence said he wanted to bring a strong and respected team together that could analyse or challenge the quality of the council’s decision-making.
Among the concerns of a small group of residents who have been meeting recently are the extent of planned rates rises and escalating debt, spending perceived as wasteful and councillors being at odds with sections of the community about transport and what is needed to foster a vibrant city centre.
Mr Lawrence (66), who is a former WellSouth chief financial officer, indicated he could be a transitional chairman providing leadership while the group was taking shape.
He was approaching the task of getting the right mix of people as similar to forming a board of directors.
"The success of the organisation relies on attracting a group of experienced and knowledgeable residents, passionate about ensuring the governance activities of the council are reflective of the community they represent," an expressions-of-interest document states.
Mr Lawrence said there needed to be greater scrutiny of the council’s activities and the group would strive to present a positive perspective.
The organisation favoured a back-to-basics approach, prioritising maintenance of infrastructure.
Its document refers to monuments, art and creative displays as being important but secondary to basic needs.
The group wished to foster greater amenity and "request council adopt a friendlier, caring approach to small business".
The organisation would be based along "non-political, non-idealistic, non-religious lines or bias".
Asked what was meant by non-political, Mr Lawrence signalled a lack of comfort with the group being wedded to a particular ideology, as it was more important to make a practical difference.
The society was seeking people with experience and skills in finance, planning and infrastructure and transportation and expertise in voting systems and processes.
People within the informal group who had been meeting so far had some misgivings about the soundness of postal voting and supported having a referendum on whether the single-transferable vote (STV) system should be replaced by first-past-the-post (FPP).
Mr Lawrence said he expected a formal committee could be in place from April.
Anyone wanting to be involved could contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.