I occasionally take an interest in the Long Term Plan of of the local Council. It's my money they're spending, and they are obliged to Consult aboot it all.
I generally ask some pointed question: like:
•I see you have budgetted for X million pesos revenue, from Development Contributions. Please set out the average revenue per section expected, segmented into residential, commercial, industrial and Gummint.
•Please provide some economic commentary about these figures, given that they are significant inputs into section prices, and coming as they do early in the development cycle, attract significant developer financing cost additions prior to section sale, and are ultimately paid for by the incurrence of household, public and business debt.
•Please provide commentary about the revenue risk implicit in these averages, focussing on the most likely such risks: development flight to cheaper jurisdictions, housing inflation, buyer resistance, disadvantagement of low-income new-house purchasers.
•Please provide a table showing comparative Development Contributions for adjacent jurisdictions, for equivalently sized Councils across New Zealand, and against a New Zealnd average.
Y'see? A statement (on public record, no less), an education for Councillors who are often shocked! Shocked! to understand just what their faceless bureaucrats are inflicting on anyone enmeshed in their processes, and (best of all) a chance to stand up in front of the Council and tell these hapless fools just exactly what a dire effect they are having upon their local economy, residents and businesses.
Now, the Open Season for the LTP's is again upon us. Happy Hunting!