Funny how a media article can inspire you to send out a release, especially when you’re a ratepayer and you wonder if our City Council of élites understands how hard it was for us to make that money. In today’s case, it was Lindsay Shelton’s Scoop Wellington op-ed about Wellington City Council going nuts with its spending. Lindsay highlighted not only a $350,000 sculpture for the World Cup—money which I reckon we could use to boost the central city’s wiﬁ coverage—but Dave Burgess’s report in The Dominion Post that WCC spends six times as much as Porirua’s council on food and drink.
I’m not sure how we can justify those sorts of numbers, but I do have an aim to balance the budget if elected.
As I wrote today, if we can grow our creative and technological clusters in Wellington—and get free wiﬁ up and running (initially in the centre of the city, expanding outward)—we can grow the local economy and create jobs. After that we can look at partying—but not till we earn Wellingtonians’ respect by doing a bloody good job.
A city that supports its clusters strategically will be able to balance the budget—and so far, it seems I’m the only candidate who is even willing to talk about this issue.
We can start improving those communities through the new jobs we’ll be creating, and deal a blow to inner-city crime.
If we fall behind on the tech side of things, consider this: we will lose the Sevens and any other event because our visitors will be asking, ‘Why can’t I get on to Google Maps on my iPhone without paying for it?’ It’s very simple, and when a mayor and council miss out on the simplest things, then it is time for a change.
I would have thought a divided council—a complaint of the incumbent, Kerry Prendergast—would mean that we would not be spending massive amounts on things because there would be a lack of agreement. Spending ratepayers’ money, for some reason, seems to get rapid accord in this council—which tells me that when we vote in our mayor and council later in the year, we should have a far greater change than even I would have expected when I began my campaign.
We have a divided council that needs firm direction on how to grow the economy, and a mayor who understands what ‘world-class city’ means.
World-class does not mean big. World-class means nimble, modern and transparent.
In 2010, we don’t need the same old, tired voices. Or the same old élites. The direction Wellington needs is a fresh one that brings new promises.
Incidentally, we have added a Facebook widget for my campaign page on this blog. It’s been placed at a few locations on my sites. Also, as of today, backjack2010.com redirects to jackyanformayor.org—it’s important to have the consistency in the domain name and the campaign graphic (thanks to Demian Rosenblatt).