“Just WHY do we have rate capping, WHY do we have rate capping?
You might be surprised when I say that it is not because of the rise in rates, --- IS NOT, because of the rise in rates --- the bigger problem is, without a doubt, the budgeting process followed by most councils – I suspect all!
The Process is completely void of any of the Principles of the “CAT”: • C consultation (Collaboration is the purest form of ”C”) • A ccountability • T ransparency Generally, the budgeting process councils employ are arrogant and without collaboration, consultation or engagement, therefore, ratepayers have no confidence that the council is doing the right thing or making the right financial decisions. The process goes like this: • The councillors and officers lock themselves up in a conclave and invest thousands of hours developing the “draft” budget with no inputs from anyone. • The “draft” budget is then presented in a council meeting with 276 pages of notes. • The councillors, to show that they are on top of things, ask a few questions that they already know the answers to after their huge investment in the “draft” budget. • The public is not permitted to ask any questions. • The “draft” budget then goes to S223 submissions. • Submitters are allowed three minutes to make a presentation but can ask no questions about the budget. The S223 committee does not consist of all councillors. • The “council” then considers the S223 submissions and goes forward to develop the final budget. • Seldom are any items from the S223 submissions included in the final budget primarily because of the thousands of hours invested by councillors and officers in conclave who know best. • Then the 276-page budget document is presented to council and approved. Sometime there is one or two who vote against it for political capital, being, as they know it will pass without their yes vote. • Then the Mayor/CEO spin-doctors go into full steam and tell one-and-all what a great job they did and how important the rate increase was. However, of course, nothing of substance is mentioned. • Then the rates go up significantly higher than any other sector (pensions for example). • Then Ratepayers get a little peeved when they see their rate bill. This, my friends, is the primary reason, THE PRIMARY REASON, we have rate capping today. ”