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ARC Dominated By Officials On Rates Issue

ARC Dominated By Officials On Rates Issue - Our Advice To Ratepayers At This Time Is - Don't Pay.

The deputation from this campaign came away almost empty-handed, but with a clear impression of a council that is incapable of governing this region.

The council is relying on legal advice which says it can resolve to reset the rate, but that it must go through the full special consultative process on the new Local Government Act.

We strongly dispute that assertion - and were supported by ARC councillor Mike Lee who has asked officials to obtain a second opinion.

ARC Deputy Chair, Phillip Sherry said he will ascertain the likely cost of resetting the rates.

Mr Sherry, on the advice of officials, said any resetting would be enormously expensive but he would obtain detailed estimates of the costs involved.

It seemed to us that the council is now unable to provide appropriate governance for this region and we will therefore raise with Minister Chris Carter the desirability of appointing a Commissioner to run the ARC.

Meanwhile it is our strong recommendation that people do not pay their full rates at this time and be prepared to accept the 10 per cent penalty which will be added to their bill.

Finally we were shocked that at a time when the ARC is facing the biggest crisis in its history only two councillors could be present at our meeting.

In essence we felt that Mr Sherry was putting out the 'party line' while Mr Lee adopted a much more helpful 'let's sort it out' approach.

I was accompanied at the meeting by John Drury [Orewa], Ron Mottram {Rodney Combined Ratepayers},Grant Taylor [Manukau City], Ken Elcoat [Waitakere City]

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