I sent this to Chris and Debbie and others on the 27th but have had no response. They don’t seem to want the positive suggestions.
From: Lee Vandervis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 13:15
To: Chris Morris <email@example.com>, Debbie Porteous <firstname.lastname@example.org>, EditorODT <email@example.com>
Cc: Mayor Cull <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Paul Orders <email@example.com>, Sue Bidrose <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sandy Graham <email@example.com>
Subject: Volunteer Community Boards
A number of people have contacted me with regard to my questioning of costs of Community Boards, and although the majority of them agree that Community Board members should not get personal payments [including one ex- Community Board member] there is support for some work that Community boards do, especially with their $10,000 annual grant.
In support of giving Community Boards better Community resources [the lack of which apparently underlies current ineffectiveness], I will make an unreserved apology to all 36 Community board members if they are prepared to forego their personal payments in exchange for a tripling of each board’s $10,000 grant funding to $30,000 for each of the 6 Boards. This would mean that there is no longer any suggestion of Board Members just doing it for the money, and would give each of the Communities a sizable annual allocation for local projects.
My suggestion is that this $30,000 allocation could be carried forward if unspent to provide funding for some major Community projects that may take years to plan. There would be further savings for the City if the Community Boards could be freed from the bureaucratic paper-trail of the Local Government Act and conduct their meetings informally without DCC staff travel, agendas, minutes and associated costs.
In the interests of transparency all that would be required of each of the 6 Boards would be an annual statement with receipts detailing what the $30,000 had been spent on.
If desired, as well as making a full apology, I would be happy to visit these new volunteer Community Boards every month or when appropriate and bring back their Community concerns to Council by way of a report which I would write up for Councillors’ forums.
If changing to unpaid volunteer status on Community Boards with $30,000 per year grant funding was acceptable to existing members, they would have my full support and I believe the much wider support of their whole Community.
I have not yet had the opportunity to discuss this volunteer-plus-much-larger-grant proposal with the Mayor or staff, but I would welcome the Volunteer Community Boards proposal being floated publicly to see what reaction the public would have.
VCBs could give their Communities new purpose and direction.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
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