Top 5 Issues
- out of control spending
Expenses are increasing much faster than revenue. Many capital programs are unaffordable. A lot of do nice things like theatre upgrades, the new pool and recreation hall are on the books to happen, but only if someone other than the ratepayer fronts up with 80% of the cost. But the ratepayer’s portion is on the books as borrowing. Knowing we are already rated to the max, the plan is to borrow.
- increased debt and poor financial management
Council staff have looked at other regions are figured out that we simply do not have enough debt on our books. Why do we have so much debt? It is the waste water treatment plant, and all the pipes attached to it. If the council was smarter, it would have approached central government years ago, before we started building. The mayor was actually pestering the prime minister for some cash last time he was in town, but the budget had already been printed.
Like it or lump it, we must sell the farm.
- economic development
Council has done nothing to advance economic development. We had 45,500 people living in the district 20 years ago. Now we have 44,500. We are critically short of people aged 20 to 40.
In part, because we have not been successful in creating a growing economy.
In 20 years we lost 2919 full time jobs, gained 757 part time or seasonal jobs, in total we lost 2162 jobs.
As the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, I have led the process to start a new Economic Development Agency for the region. Run by business, not the council. With a focus on investment to create jobs. We can have 2 new mills, a meat plant, we can use solar to heat our water and sell excess power back to the grid. We can have more organics, which is job rich and value added. And we can promote the region.
- Poor decision processes
I go to a lot of council meeting. Each councillor has their own view on things, there is very little effort made to really work collectively for the good of the region. Staff love it. With a divided council they put options up and run the show. It should be the other way around.
Big time decisions like say spending a million dollars are debated and voted on in 10 minutes. Small stuff, like two barking dogs at one property or a request for speed bumps takes an hour to mull over. There is an ocean to swim in, but most councillors are drowning in the puddles.
And the proof is in the pudding. The list of bad decisions is long. Manders road, the big re shed, the surfer’s parking lot, setting up commercial property without reticulation and secret cedenco loans.
Where is it? We need new and better councillors from the city. Most city councillors claim to represent the poor, the dispossessed, pensioners and others on low wages………….but in truth, they are the ones who keep voting for spending increases. They have voted to increase our rates by 25% in the last three years, and they should be held accountable.
These councillors are standing on their record. And it is one of increased debt, increased rates, big time spending, mismanagement and poor decisions. I say vote these financially illiterate representatives out.
I was born in Vancouver, the 6th of 9 children. I am ½ German and ½ Scottish, but the name is Polish. Radomske means “son of Radom”. I grew up supported by my cousins, aunts, uncles and family. I played ice hockey and basketball, and enjoyed hunting, fishing and hiking. I have travelled a lot, to Tibet, China, Pakistan, India, Turkey, North Africa, USA, Canada, South America and Europe. I spent time working on a Kibbutz in Israel. I married Jan, a nurse from Tauranga 32 years ago. We have two children and eight grandchildren. New Zealand has been our home for 27 years. We have lived here in Gisborne for 10 years.
My work has been mainly in forestry. As a logging contractor in Canada, and with Fletcher Challenge as a manager of production, supply and logistics for 14 years. I have also worked for the NZ ARMY as a logistics manager. I have a business degree from Massey University and a Master of International Relations from Victoria University. Locally, I worked for Riversun Nurseries as the grafting shed manager, for the community as the employment strategy coordinator, running the 2006 census, and as the returning officer for the last 2 elections to parliament. I also do a lot of work for the Chamber of Commerce, make wine and grow palms.
What I hope to achieve as a councillor is better representation, smarter fact based collective decisions, accountability to ratepayers, lower rates and better financial management.
I have attended almost every council meeting for the last 2 years, and heaps of committee meetings. I have also made substantial submissions to the annual and long term plans both on my own account, and for the Chamber of Commerce. I know how council works, I am very well versed in the plans, strategies, costs, expenses and opportunities.
I am campaigning as the “rate buster” and I have a comprehensive list of actions to lower rates. Bearing in mind, that you need 8 votes to change things, working with like-minded councillors and seeking common ground is the only way it will happen. Currently each councillor acts independently, little work is done towards a shared common vision for the region.
I want to slow down the spending. Delay some water and sewage pipe renewals. Spend a bit less on roads and bridges and reserves. There are millions of dollars that can be cut from the council’s annual budget with very little effect on services.
I want to sell the farm. I base my position on the huge amount of interest that ratepayers will pay on our debt. The interest cost will wipe out the value of the farm, any increase in farm or stock value, any harvest of the farms trees and all dividends received within 15 years.
Selling the farm would not be easy. Local Maori want it back, rural councillors want to keep it and the Chinese might buy it and turn it into a carbon sink.
But I truth, it is not the farm that is the strategic asset, it is the money involved. So that would pose a father question. If it was sold, should we invest some or all in something else, or should we pay debt down.
Bearing in mind that our interest bill is $3mmion this year and next, the costs of delay or not doing anything are clear.
The council housing stock is 10 million dollars. It say it should be sold to Housing Corp and/or Iwi, a Trust at cost or at a discount. No one would be thrown out; rents would not be jacked up. The objective would be to improve the stock, improve the service, but not on the councils books. Cash could then be used to reduce debt.
The most important thing we can do as regards infrastructure is to deliver a 25 year plan of infrastructure needs for the region. Road, port, air, power, broadband, rail… all infrastructure. Currently the regional transport committee looks mainly at roads. I would like this group to be renamed the Infrastructure Committee, and I would like to see it plan for the future, with all the facts, demands, flows, costs and externalities costed in.
The council will exit economic development and let business drive the process. This means a new economic development agency for the region, called GROW GISBORNE. I have worked hard to build local consensus to make it happen. This group will bring in investment to create the jobs we need and promote and market the region.
Community development is the outcome of economic development. If we have more jobs and higher paying value added jobs, we will have less crime, better education and health outcomes and more people in the region. Council staff do an excellent job in community development.
The biggest environmental problems are road slips and flooding. We need to protect Ruatoria and the Poverty Bay flats from flooding, and council has plans to attend to these matters. As regards slips and slumps on the roads, this is not only expensive, but hard to deal with. Council does what it can, but we probably need to budget for these calamities, as they will continue, and failing to budget for them leads us into deficit spending and rate demand increases.
I believe we need new and better councillors from the city. Most city councillors claim to represent the poor, the dispossessed, pensioners and others on low wages………….but in truth, they are the ones who keep voting for spending increases. They have voted to increase our rates by 25% in the last three years, and they should be held accountable.
These councillors are standing on their record. And it is one of increased debt, increased rates, and big time spending, mismanagement and poor decisions.
In a world that is trying to reduce debt, in a country that is facing GST increases, electricity and food cost increases, we have a council that is focused on increased debt and increased rates.
I will work for you to put the brakes on increased debt, increase rates, big time spending, mismanagement and poor decisions.
This must be more than an election about nice sounding statements like “stronger communities, affordable housing or inclusivity”. It is about having effective councillors working together to deliver better outcomes and services for you
It’s time for change. Vote for Clare Radomske. Give me the opportunity to make it happen.
Authorised by clare radomske of 22 muir street
Results - Final
- Brian Wilson
- Nona Aston
- Manu Caddie
- Craig Bauld
- Rehette Stoltz
- Alan Davidson
- Allan Hall
- Andy Cranston
- Larry Foster
- Murray Robertson
- Tina Karaitiana
- Anne Pardoe
- Clare Radomske
- Atareta Poananga
- Darrington Slater
- Fiona Ratapu-Rodden