The Hamilton Residents and Ratepayers Association INC observe a serious decline in the delivery of democracy between Hamilton Citizens, Elected Members and Staff.
We appoint individuals to represent the community and expect that tools are in place to enable our representatives to express the will of the community.
Considerable concern is being expressed in the community about the poor definition of projects, lack of financial control and communication with the community about project risks and long term costs.
It is evident from reviewing the 2014 version to the 2019 version of Standing Orders that committee meeting control has shifted from Elected Member Chairperson to Staff.
To empower those who are being called to account to set the Agenda and control meeting content is unacceptable as it totally destroys the Governance relationship.
The Finance Committee Chair, asking for more clarification on Council activities using tools such as Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is across all industries best practice. If this type of tool was used prior to signing the V8 contract, Claudelands Event Centre and many other cost overrun projects maybe the community would have a higher opinion than the 32% recently reported.
As the President of the Residents and Ratepayers Association I challenge you all to change the standing orders before the 4th October, on meeting agendas and notices (Note: 2010 not less than 14 days) so that the new leaders of this great city can start their role on a positive footing and assume the responsibilities that the community expects of them, responsibilities not possible under the current standing orders.
We recommend that a Council-Community task force that includes an independent Governance Subject Matter Expert be set up to undertake a review of the Standing Orders. Our organisation would be delighted to assist with appointments and development of the terms of reference to facilitate an early result.