Kent Austin providing a financial briefing
Dr Tasanee and I have spent the morning working with finance director Kent Austin on University Park’s community project – a change in how water rates are calculated. This morning Kent provided us with an interesting background on how the finances of University Park work, the expenditure and revenue items and answered all our varied questions. With that background safely under our belts, we were able to then consider the issue of changing water rates. The way water rates have been set in UP has not been systematically reviewed for some time and following the work of independent consultants, a new structure has been proposed, This proposed structure will be considered by committee at the end of the week and if approved, will need to be communicated with the community. An aspect of the new rate is a desire to encourage water conservation and this will be a consideration of the community engagement around this process.
You will see from the title that tax of any sort is not popular in Texas and so the communication of the issue will be a delicate matter for the city.
It was interesting to consider how differently things are done in both Dunedin and Phuket with regard to water charging and we were able to provide some observations about this. We were also able to provide some comments about how messages like this might normally be communicated within our home communities. It was a really interesting and useful session which concluded with a short test. Both Dr Tasanee and I passed!