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Large crowd at contentious Community Board meeting
July 13th, 2011
[by David Armstrong]
The July meeting of the Motueka Community Board was long (over three hours), mainly interesting and often fractious. About 30 residents attended, packing the TDC meeting room probably beyond what fire regulations would allow. All seven Board members attended.
Motueka Online has already reported on the two main issues dealt with - the operation of the Sunday market and the Board's attitude to the Council amalgamation proposal. This third article will report some of the other items of interest on the agenda.
Motueka Aerodrome. TDC Property Manager Jim Frater explained the way in which the aerodrome is managed. He spoke of work which is under way to install water, power and other services to the area and thereby encourage businesses to set up there. Helicopter operations will now be based around the northern (Marchwood Park) end of the runway to reduce conflict with fixed-wing operations.
Referring to recommendations by members of the Board to bring management and governance back to a community-based group, he warned that this would bring with it some heavy responsibilities and leave that committee exposed. "You'd need to think about why you'd want to do that and wear the exposure." He said the management of the aerodrome "has moved far beyond the realm of" what the older-style local community group could handle, not necessarily in expertise but more so in the amount of time and responsibility it would involve.
Board chairman David Ogilvie queried why the management fee had tripled over the past three years, leading to some heated argument when onlooker Trevor Norriss objected. Board member Cliff Satherley queried the apparent lack of transparency in the Council's Enterprises subcommittee meetings, and was told that there is a public forum available at the Corporate Services meetings, to which the Enterprises Committee reports.
Later in the meeting, it was agreed that the Board should defer any further decision on requesting a transfer of management to the community until after they had seen the management plan for the coming year.
Woodlands walkway. Work is about to start in building a gravel walkway between Thorps Bush and the Recreation Centre beside the Woodlands canal. David Ogilvie bemoaned the fact that his request for a tar-sealed path had been rejected.
Delegated powers of community boards. The Board discussed the recommendation by TDC chief executive Paul Wylie that the Community Board support and accept the extra delegations (powers and responsibilities) set out in the draft amalgamation scheme. (See our report here.) Barry Dowler expressed grave concerns that before such a decision could be made, the Board would need to consult with the Motueka ward community over such things as management of halls and the market. Accepting this reservation, the Board agreed with the recommendation.
Litter Cart. In the public forum, several attending spoke of their disgust that Motueka is becoming more untidy and littered, and pleading for more work to be done by TDC to remove litter. Later in his report David Ogilvie put forward a recommendation that the Community Board allocate $10,000 from its account to fund a litter collector during 2011-2012.
A decision on this was deferred as it was pointed out that such expenditure, as part of the $25,000 fund created by the new targeted rate plus the $10,000 surplus from last year, must be agreed after community consultation (see the next item). The Board also discussed the possibility of promoting a regular litter clean-up event, with media backing to encourage wide participation and awareness of the problem and solution.
Targeted rate projects. The Community Board needs to consult with the community on how to spend the funds from the new targeted $5 rate. (See out report here.) David Ogilvie suggested a newspaper advertisement to allow people to tick boxes to show their preferences for projects. As a starting point he produced a list of items lifted from the local submissions to this year's TDC Annual Plan.
After a very rushed and confused discussion on what items to include on that list, the Board agreed to follow that path, and will meet again to decide on the survey items to offer.
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