Today was out first meeting as a council. And the first opportunity to meet councillors from other parts of the district.
The message from the mayor was a good one, and appeared to take on board many of the issues our community raised during the recent election campaign. In particular, keeping rates increases down and reducing debt. However, It still concerns me that the council is talking in terms of “reducing an increase in rates”, rather than a zero or CPI index increase. Early days I suppose.
Today’s first council meeting was more ceremony than substance. But there was still some opportunities to express some opinions. In this regard I was impressed by what Cr Paul Sangster had to say with regard to the election of the deputy mayor.
Cr Tim King was elected deputy mayor (uncontested) today, after Cr Judene Edgar declined to stand (after being nominated by other councillors).
Tim is an excellent deputy and councillor, who I look forward to working with, but it would have been good to have had a woman as deputy, especially given 50% of the voting public are woman, their are few woman on council, and she was the highest polling councillor in the district. I can only think that it was a missed opportunity for our council to improve community engagement and show the community that it has taken on board a desire for change. However, I’m sure there will be more opportunities to show that.
On another note, during my campaign, I came across a number of issues that I recorded on my google map. And I’d thought I’d share those observations here.