19 April 2020

What should Council's response be to COVID -19?

I received an interesting email this week from a  resident this week to which I politely replied.  Often residents would rather be invited to call when it is convenient to them rather than me making an unsolicited phone call. Nevertheless, the content of the email was about what Council should be doing given the current circumstances of some residents who have lost their jobs or have reduced incomes. So he asked for:

  • reducing rates by 10%
  • to catch up with other levels of government in Council's response
  • a reduction in property values
  • tougher efficiencies within the organisation (even if this causes a loss of jobs)
  • amalgamation of Councils
  • Acknowledge that Local Government is becoming increasingly irrelevant
  • Not paying accounts when due
Council is already preparing to consult with residents about keeping the rate change to 0%. We want to know what you think. While house price rises have been  conservative they are still higher than last year. To make an effective 0% the rate in the dollar will still need to be reduced. While housing prices may fall as a result of this virus this is not reflected in the current values.

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