The Weekend Sun Column - 9th September 2016
JOHN ROBSON on Tauranga City Council...
As promised some more facts.
Over the term of this Council, debt hasincreased from $365 million at the endof the 2013-14 financial year, to abudgeted $391 million for the end ofthis financial year.
This is despite selling assets valued at over$70 million.
Any claim that Council has got debtdown (as, for instance, made by theDeputy Mayor in his re-election material)is, at best, misleading.
The desire by politicians to spin a positivemessage for the purpose of re-electionshould never ‘trump’ truth.
Even if, as asserted by one Councillor,“everyone spins”.
In the three budgets delivered by thisCouncil, the real rates take (adjusted forinflation and growth) has increased onaverage by around 3.0% per year.
The equivalent figure for the threebudgets of the previous Council is 4.1%.
Again, any claim that this Council hashalved rates rises is clearly using adifferent number system to you and me.
On a different topic.
At a recent Civic Heart Project SteeringGroup meeting, a paper was circulatedshowing the budget position for theproject to June 30, 2016.
It showed total actual spend for theproject was $1,050,000 compared witha budget of $1,000,000 – effectively anegative variance of $50,000 or 5%.
More interesting however was a lineitem that showed actual spend for ‘staff’at $58,000 compared with a budget of$65,000 – a positive variance of $7,000.
Having taken a very close interest in theproject, despite not being a memberof the steering group, I challenged thisfigure.
A few weeks later, a revised figure wascirculated showing estimated staff costat over $500,000.
Food for thought.