For once, Central Government has it right – the unreasonable burden on Dunedin ratepayers and residents is beyond the pale, following ten years of excessive debt loading by the Dunedin City Council, fueled by the sheer lack of conservative management and fiscal prudence (a requirement clearly set out in the Local Government Act). Something has to give. Cull’s council has no wish to be made transparent or accountable – without Government intervention the Dunedin community has NO protection from this council’s excesses, brought about by deliberate deception and oft times the financial ineptitude of councillors and senior management of council departments; ditto the boards and senior management of council-owned companies and related entities. Meanwhile, the old chestnut – Council pouring rates funds into professional rugby without ratepayer sanction, with no end in sight.
A proposed limit on rates rises would erode councils’ previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates. –Dave Cull
### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Cull opposes debt, rates intervention
By Chris Morris
Local authorities such as the Dunedin City Council should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Mr Cull and Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders made their case this week, while presenting the council’s submission on proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing in Christchurch.
The reforms – unveiled in March – included plans for new benchmarks to assess the financial performance of councils, as part of a push to control local government debt levels and limit rates increases.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr