The votes have been counted, the dust has settled and what have we got? Virtually the same council as before with the two retirees replaced by Thelma Buck and Lindsay Abbot, and both of them have served before. It appears that the people of Invercargill do not like change.
Invercargill has been riding a wave of prosperity in recent years, rising house prices, the rapid expansion of dairying and the success of the SIT has put new heart into our city. However, the concerns regarding the transparency of governance (many closed meetings), planning and auditing problems and the big odour issue, cause many to ask if it has been good luck or good management that has carried us through.
There have been some strong views expressed on this blog about what should be done in the years ahead from many of our elected councillors. I would be expecting to see the following occur in the near future:
1. Invercargill joining the Communities for Climate Protection scheme.
2. Greater funding and support for the arts.
3. An emphasis on maintaining our CBD as the commercial, cultural and social hub of our community.
4. Further development of safe cycling routes throughout the central city and the continued development of walking and cycling tracks.
5. Continued consultation with South City residents and progress reports on promised work.
6. Setting a Zero waste target and introducing the collection of green waste.
7. Expanding the representation of the Youth Council and improving the working relationship by developing some joint actions and initiatives where progress can be measured.
8. Sustainable practices become a key consideration for all future developments and decisions.
9. A regular bus service is started between Bluff and Invercargill and continued improvements of accessibility on key services for elderly and disabled passengers.
10. The healthy homes concept is introduced to Invercargill to improve the standard of our older houses and increase overall energy efficiency.