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Voters advise GDC to ‘get back to basics’

THE vast majority of people who took part in this week’s Herald web poll believe the council has a credibility issue to overcome when it comes to cost estimates for its major projects.

A total of 279 people responded this week and 82.44 percent of them (230 votes) were of that view.

Of the remainder, 12.54 percent (35 votes) did not believe the council has a credibility issue over the cost estimates, and 5.02 percent (14 votes) did not have a view either way.

There were some strong comments from those who did have a view on the issue.

“The inner harbour basin development still hasn’t got resource content,” said one.

“Cost estimates often far short of the mark. Credibility definitely in question,” was another point made.

“Council has a history of poor financial management and if it was in private enterprise it would be a defunct organisation,” said another.

Other comments included:

• “The council has an analysis paralysis issue. They wait so long to make a decision that the price goes up in the intervening years. Infrastructure costs only go up. Do what you were elected for and make decisions.”

• “Council staff should be held responsible and their employment reviewed.”

• “Councillors have a credibility issue with everything they attempt to do.”

• “Currently two major projects, not even under way, have substantial cost projection blowouts. One of those projects, the bridge to nowhere, is a total nonsense project and should be dropped forthwith.

• “The Olympic Pool seems an ongoing cash sinkhole and needs to be tendered out. We may be lucky and find a taker, so the ongoing cost is actually covered by users and not subsidised by ratepayers.”

• “Every major project the council attempts starts with an optimistic figure then down the track there are sudden unexpected costs. The council needs to get the initial pricing right and our councillors need to stop shrugging their shoulders and rubber-stamping these sudden increases.”

' . . . put councillors back to a voluntary job, that will sort out the wasters'

• “Get back to basics and leave all the fancy stuff. Get sewerage right, more water storage, roading, infrastructure first, and also put councillors back to a voluntary job, that will sort out the wasters.”

• “How can someone get it so wrong as to cost. Maybe not up to the job?

• “It is time for council to concentrate on its core purpose — the city and its amenities. The basics need addressing urgently and forget about the ‘nice to haves’ and get on with the ‘needs to haves’.”

• “I believe the council has major credibility issues in almost every area.”

• “I find it very hard to understand how the staff at the council can get any enjoyment from putting on public display their gross incompetence.”

• “I think the council needs to stop pleasing a certain group of people and get on with essential work that needs completing for the betterment of all its community.”

• “I wonder if the former chief executive terminated the employment of too many knowledgeable staff.”

• “If they were a private enterprise business they would be down and out. No business sense whatsoever and should be made accountable to the ratepayer.”

• “In the hard times people usually tighten their belts, and not the opposite.”

• “Lots of over-spend but no accountability.”

• “The clowns are now running the circus — and the bank account.”

• “The idea that rates had to be increased over and above the LTP due to having to meet resource consent conditions, is something that should have been known and planned for.”

• “They have a credibility issue with many issues I am very disappointed with their performance.”

Over 80 percent of voters believed the council has a credibility issue to overcome when it comes to cost estimates for its major projects. One of the harsher comments was: "The clowns are now running the circus — and the bank account."