2012 Reflections 28 December 2012 We've put together a collection of OurCoromandel updates from 2012 into an eMagazine as we look back on what's been a busy and productive time at TCDC and to give you a bit of a flavour about what we've been up to this year! Foreword from Mayor Glenn Leach Our second year in office as elected members of the Thames-Coromandel District is coming to a close and what a huge year it's been for us all here at council - councillors and staff alike. We've achieved a lot with our communities this year and we've also really tried hard to increase the quantity and quality of our communications so we can all stay in touch and keep up with the fast pace at Council! I hope you too noticed a different approach to our customer service and communication. In this special edition of OurCoromandel, we thought we'd collate some of our updates from 2012 into a single publication so we can review the year together and get into gear for 2013. This has been the biggest year at TCDC for some time as we embarked on a complete restructure of the organisation, starting with bringing in our new Chief Executive David Hammond in February. TCDC has rocked the boat somewhat in the local government sector, as it reduces rates, size and enhances local democracy, when many council's seem to be moving the other way The organisation has been reshaped to support newly empowered Community Boards with the placement of three new Area Manager roles in the Area Offices in Whangamata, Thames and Whitianga. With these new roles comes new front line staff at the coal face in our bid to make the organisation more responsive with the community and to anticipate its very heart beat. Taking 5% off the average residential rate this year was also a major milestone for us all to bring us into line more closely with the national average. As we head into 2013, we're looking forward to the new structure and new attitudes take hold even more to ensure we deliver on our promises to you as outlined in our 2012 Ten Year Plan. I have certainly noticed a huge reduction in complaints to my office, so things are already improving drastically - a big thank you to all staff. My personal highlight was launching a vision for a Great Coromandel Walk, which links all the tracks on the Peninsula into a world-class multi-day attraction to really kick start out tourism industry into overdrive. Please always feel free to contact your elected representatives or myself, we've always got time to talk. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Coromandel Summer and be sure to watch out for our brand new Summertimes Magazine, which is full of great stories and interesting things to do during the famous Coromandel Summer - which I am sure is due here any day! My highlights for 2012 Launching the vision for a Coromandel Great Walk Empowering Community Boards to govern over local activities such as boat ramps, harbours, parks and reserves with newly appointed Area Managers (who sit on the Executive and report to the CE) and new Community Development Officers Bringing on-board a new Chief Executive in David Hammond- previously CE from Ruapehu District Council Delivering a fantastic reduction in the average rate (-5%) Delivering the much-anticipated Positive Ageing and Disability Strategies Despite some local angst about the Hauraki Rail Trail commercial model, the opening of the Trail was a huge achievement for all involved and is bringing much needed business to the Coromandel Choosing Sugarloaf as the location for an expanded wharf for aquaculture development Things to watch for in 2013 We look forward to the Crown settling with the Hauraki Collective as part of the Treaty of Waitangi process and partnering with Iwi to help them achieve their goals. We will be doing our own work on looking at a TCDC or wider-Thames Valley Unitary Authority as moves are made to look at an all-Waikato/Hamilton Centric model for amalgamating councils. Our Annual Plan consultation for 2013 gets underway in March as we again move to keep rate rises under inflation. The business plan and resource consent for an expanded Wharf at Sugarloaf to accommodate growth in the aquaculture industry. Our District Plan Review will enter a formal consultation process; have your say here. We'll have a preferred option sorted with the regional council to future-proof the wider-Thames Valley water supply. A new Major Events, Economic Development and Aquaculture Strategy. Some more summer reading Find out more about our current and future projects here Review our past news releases here. Read our Quarterly OurCoromandel Magazines here.