My vision is for Hamilton to be the most family friendly city in NZ - for all stages of life. What does affordable mean to you? How much is too much?
Through the chats with people I've met, Ive learnt that the question of rates affordability is THE most common concern. Please stop the rates increases they’ve asked.
Hamilton is a great place to live. We have great parks and open spaces, the mighty Waikato River and its walking and biking trails, Hamilton Gardens – I could go on. But it is increasingly more costly to live here. In 2018 we had to shoulder an eye watering 9.7 per cent rates increase. And there is no let up. More increases are on the way. Wasteful spending doesn’t help the rates situation either. What is more important to spend ratepayer money on? $6.49M on commercial buildings in the CBD earmarked for demolition or $6.49M on keeping our streets and open spaces well maintained and free of rubbish, safe cycleways and excellent playgrounds? If the same trajectory stays on track our rates will continue to increase by over 30% in 9 years! Will your income increase at the same rate over that time? Chances are – NO.
Hamilton is a growing city. The perennial challenge for council is to get the balance right around responding to that growth and keeping our existing infrastructure in excellent condition all while keeping rates affordable. I'm standing for reining in rates increases and Im standing against wasteful spending.
I see the value in reactivating an External Funding Committee. This was a committee of the previous council that had great success securing nearly $8M non-rated income. I can see projects like the Hamilton Gardens, the Bike Plan, playgrounds and reforestation in our gullies, parks and gardens, benefiting from funds sourced through this committee.
I want to bring some common-sense decision making back to the council table with realistic goals, community priorities and projects that our city actually supports.
Lets keep Hamilton affordable. Lets Win together.