In this week’s Guest Buzzmaker column, Mayor Yule tells those of us who want no further development of Ocean Beach that we are children.
He implies that we’re too simple-minded to comprehend all the complex “evidence” as to why the Council must compromise core principles and signal to independent commissioners that Council is prepared to accommodate Andy Lowe.
His view — condescending at best — is that “the children” need to be educated. Leave it to Papa. The Mayor’s job, as he noted to the press last week, is to manage our expectations.
Your Worship, manage these expectations!
We’ve just completed a poll of nearly 900 Say NO! to 1000 houses on Ocean Beach petitioners. Over 37% responded. Thanks for the idea, Councillor Watkins!
- 55% want no further development at all north of the Surf Club.
- Another 10% want only the development that is now permitted under current zoning.
On other words, two out of three petitioners want their elected representatives to Just Say NO! to the Hill Country plan change.
And another 32% want a more restrictive position than the Council has officially articulated. They want no development at all on or around Haupouri Flats, a reserve protecting that area, and the entire rest of the beach protected permanently by a legal covenant. [For completeness sake, <1% favor the Hill Country plan, and 2% say 400-600 houses would be OK.]
Certainly the people choosing one of the first two options expect the Council, through its own submission, to present an aggressive, brilliantly argued case against the plan change. We can’t wait to see it! Anything less would be a breach of trust, exposing as fraudulent the Council’s resolve last Thursday that “the plan change be rejected in its entirety.”
Yet, already, we have the Mayor pronouncing — a bit ahead of schedule, it seems to me — that building houses on Ocean Beach is inevitable … it’s just a matter of what number. And the children should just get over it.
Does that sound like a Mayor who is serious about championing the public will through the submission process? I don’t think so. He’s too focused on lowering our expectations.
With all due respect, Your Worship, we’re not much interested in your personal legal opinion or your forecasting of how the independent commissioners will view the matter. Other adults look at the same “evidence” quite differently.
But we are very interested indeed in how strongly and effectively you and your “core team” will represent the will of the people in opposing the plan change as the RMA process unfolds.
We children, after all, uneducated as we are, have a visceral sense for when we’ve been scammed.
P.S. You can see the precise options posed and the final results here.