A local woman has been campaigning for more representation.
Robin Schiff has been advocating for a community board for Richmond, but now wants to go a step further and create a local board, to ensure that Richmond has enough representation as the population continues to grow.
Robin got the idea to advocate for a local board for Richmond after seeing the consultation documents presented to ratepayers for the Golden Bay community board.
“A local board has much more power,” says Robin. A community board exists at the pleasure of the council – it does not have any legal authority outside of what council decides to give it. A local board has obligations as well as authority.
“The local board has to agree with council on the annual plan. I think this would be a good thing for Richmond.”
One of the options on the submission form for the Golden Bay local board consultation is ‘Support the option of a Golden Bay local board, and a local board elsewhere in Tasman District.’
Robin says that this is a great opportunity for Richmond residents who want more representation to speak up.
“We are slated to have 4000 houses built in the next 10 years. To develop this town in a good way, there is going to have to be a lot of community input,” Robin says.
“I think it’s important we give Richmond the best shot of continuing to be a great place to live,” Robin says.
Local board members would be elected in the same way that community board members and councillors are.
“There will be arguments against this in that it will raise rates,” For Golden Bay, it is around $75 a year per rateable property.
“I think it depends on how you look at it. It makes it so that when that local board have to come to an agreement with council around rates, you get much more say in all the rates that you are paying,” Robin says.
“There is accountability, council will need to explain more transparently what has been spent where.
“We as people have a lot more say on what our rates are spent on,” Robin says.
Robin will be at the Richmond Library for the next two weeks on Monday between 12:00 and 1:30pm.