by Geoffrey Churchman

For Glen Cooper the way the Council and the Community interact needs to change. The top-down imposition of what the top management echelon want should be reversed. Pro-active Community Boards should find out what the Community desires are, which through the Councilors get presented to the management for action. In effect, this is a reversal of the way it has been done in Kapiti for the last 15 years or more.

As he sees it, the People are tired of having measures and projects imposed on them by highly paid bosses in defiance of community opposition to them. The bosses avoid representations and ignore communications from the public who they clearly consider to be ignorant peasants.

No, says Glen, that is not how Democracy should work.

The obvious example, which he had personal involvement in as co-owner of an affected business, was the Guru Gateway. This project would have imposed severe costs on them as operators of the Kapiti Island Eco Tour ferry.

Fortunately the looming business disaster won’t now be something that will affect him and his wife Vicky as they found a buyer for the business and he is out of it. But of course, they are still hit in the pocket by it as Ratepayers like everyone else. Needless to say, scuttling the project in the new council will be a priority if elected.

Before his four years as co-owner of this business, he was in the Police in the Wellington region for 18 years, and one of the things he shared with me was that the Jacinda government’s appointee as Commissioner, Andrew Coster, is much disliked by frontline officers who consider him the worst Commissioner ever. Glen fully supports the front-line Police.

Glen is one of seven candidates for the three Ward seats for Paraparaumu, one of the others being Bernie Randall who has been on the receiving end of hostility by the outgoing Mayor, his deputy Janet Holborow and the previous Chief Executive Mr Maxwell. Glen, like myself, is surprised Bernie wants another three years; but of course, there will be a new mayor as well as a new CE after the election. Martin Halliday is also seeking re-election in the Ward, but if he succeeds in the mayoral race, that will mean he won’t be a Ward councilor as well.

Glen is not promising support for any fancy notions: “I will support projects that are focused on core functions of council such as roading, infrastructure, water, parks and recreation.” Multi-million dollar nice-to-haves must be shelved in favour of essentials and fiscal prudence is an absolute must.

The current Long Term Plan has a projected rates increase of nearly 25% over the next triennium which he says is not sustainable. “The councilors need to revisit what’s in the Long Term Plan and come up with an acceptable forecasting of rates.”  This will be another priority.