Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:
North Shore City Council sent me a glossy newsletter, being one of their ratepayers, with a handy break-down of how each dollar of my hard earned money is spent. By my reckoning I could cut that rates bill by half on my first morning in office with no adverse effects. Those in bold are gone!
Wastewater = 23 cents. Keep the council doing this, and other infrastructure related tasks for the time being.
Public transport, roads and footpaths = 17 cents. It's a shame they grouped these together. As with wastewater, roads and footpaths are infrastructure and we'll keep those under the council's remit. But there is no reason why getting from "A" to "B" should need government funding. There are quirks to this as transport uses roads set out by and destinations zoned by government, of course uselessly as anyone who has suffered through the Esmonde Road and Lake Road cycle lane upgrades is painfully aware. Still, interfering more with subsidies won't help any, just privatise it and leave it alone, the market works just fine.
So we'll guess and take 5 cents off for public transport leaving 12 cents for roads.
Parks, beaches and sportsfields = 15 cents. Ceased and sold to interested parties and sports clubs immediately.
Environmental planning = 11 cents. Gone. I don't need my environment planned, thanks. I'm not four years old.
Libraries = 7 cents. Also gone. perfectly good books are dirt cheap from second hand bookshops.
Stormwater = 7 cents. It is infrastructure so we'll keep it.
Community services = 5 cents. Can't think of anything worthwhile this could be.
Environmental programmes = 4 cents. I don't need my environment programmed either, just bugger off!
Economic initiatives = 3 cents. Gone. What in God's name is a government doing involving itself in the economy?
Leisure services = 3 cents. Gone. As with parks and sportfields I am quite capable of sorting out my own free time.
Governance = 3 cents. Keep, just running costs.
External levies = 2 cents. Keep.
All up we're keeping only 47 cents of the current dollar. For the average North Shore ratepayer with an $1800 rates bill for this year I'd give them back $900, or $17 per week!