Mayor Golder provides an apology for 3.5% rate increase
MARANOA mayor Tyson Golder is still confident he can deliver on a one-year rates freeze within his first term - but he can't say when.
The council's budget released last Wednesday included a 3.5% rates increase, despite Cr Golder promising a one-year rate freeze during his election campaign.
Members from the community took to social media to show their frustration.
Maria Walters wrote: 'it was promised rates would not rise for 12 months after elections - voting promises pfft.'
However Cr Golder has defended the allegations against him, saying the one year rate freeze will still happen.
"I definitely promised one year and if you go back to literature I never promised four years of a rate freeze,” Cr Golder said.
"I'm still on track to do that and I've always said it would be one of the four years.”
Cr Golder understands the community's anger about the rate rise, saying he was sorry for it.
"What I would like to say is I apologise for the 3.5% increase; I would rather it not be as high as that, personally,” he said.
"I know that people are in financial difficulty and are really struggling and that in today's world that's not a small increase.”
The budget was released after Cr Golder had been in office for three months and he said the freeze was never going to happen in such a short period.
"It was never going to happen in that time as I haven't put the new structure in place, I haven't changed our staffing levels or anything,” he said.
"The other thing to remember is that I promised that no jobs would be lost, but what we would do is that as people leave we will not replace them if the council decide to go for the slimmed down version.
"And then that's when I can do what I promised, which is the one year's rate freeze and also lower increases long term.”