I found it really… educational, is the word I’d use. Quite fascinating to look at all the goings on behind the scenes with Council and what they do, what they’re into. What each department means I guess, first thing we need to do is to get ourselves educated about each of the issues; each of the funding areas which Council spending their money.
We want to have a fair and equitable spread of the burden across all areas, services and rates and future funding and then having refined that we got down the grass tacks and looked seriously at where we would make the cuts if we had to; where we would increase the money if we had to. I loved for instance looking at what goes behind the scenes at my local library. I like my library but, I didn’t know anything much about it, about why you can’t charge for a library. So, to really to understand so many people use some of these services I found really, really interesting.
Well, for me the most challenging thing was when we had to go and put stickers on you know four or five areas which we thought were really, really important and four or five areas which we thought were just totally unimportant and I looked at these services and I thought I can’t easily make any of them look unimportant or declare any of them to be unimportant. It was not something I was comfortable doing. Within each group there were often people who understood why something was valuable even if somebody else didn’t and it was often something the other person never considered before.
The result was there was going to be some cuts in services some efficiencies to be made some rate increases which was inevitable, but the idea was to spread it right out across all of the areas.
I thought it was quite an opportunity to meet different people that I would not have normally had contact with and also get a bigger picture on the areas I work in. Yes, I am glad I participated, it was an enjoyable time, challenging in parts but, always enjoyable.