Redland City Council's two mayoral candidates, incumbent mayor Melva Hobson and councillor Karen Williams, present their final statements.
THIS election has seen the art of political spin replaced by manipulation. All manner of promises have been made by candidates. The difference between Hobson (4.5 per cent) and Williams (3.1 per cent) on rates is about $17 per property a year averaged across the city.
However, this equates to about $1.1 million less to the city that could be spent on footpaths.
Cr Williams will also have you paying an extra $28 in waste charges to cover cost of abolition of tip fees and introduction of skips in streets.
When this council was elected, debt was $128million. The water compensation of $82million which had to be used to retire debt (state requirement) left a residual debt of $46million.
Council has a debt of $55m (as of March 31) and will only draw in essential loans - at this point $8m to $10m.
Council has a 10-year financial strategy, the first since 2003. I do not support higher levels of debt or the expansion of the urban footprint. Saying no to any more urban sprawl means money gets spent on roads, footpaths, parks and not building new ones in new areas.
THE important thing for Redlands is to get back to basics, and that's what concerns residents.
The last term of council saw rate, fee and levy revenue increase almost 50 per cent while inflation grew at only 11.01 per cent.
At the same time, according to council's own reports, debt increased from $41 million in 2008-2009 to $68 million this year.
Worse, council intends to maintain above-inflation rate increases and expects debt to be $101 million by 2015.
The mayor says this election is about the urban footprint but, in fact, this isn't an election issue at all.
Apart from capping rates to no more than inflation, controlling debt, abolishing dump fees, slashing waste and making council more transparent and accountable, my six-point Back to Basics plan specifically endorses the current council's population policy.
The mayor talks about the urban footprint because she will say and do anything to avoid owning her record of financial mismanagement.
Queenslanders repudiated the negative politics of sneer and smear at the state election but the mayor wasn't listening.
This Saturday, let's vote on the facts and get Redlands back on track.