DCC is a borrowing machine, who pays in the end?

### ODT Online Mon, 1 Mar 2010
Mayor, CEO defend new borrowing of $178m
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s new borrowing is forecast to reach $178 million in the next three years, as the city council continues with the major multimillion-dollar construction projects on its books.
Read more

Consultation on the DCC Annual Plan plan begins on March 13, with a road show and public meetings.
Submissions close on April 12.
Public hearings begin on May 3.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management

15 responses to “DCC is a borrowing machine, who pays in the end?

  1. Phil

    I think that the most significant item in the whole article was that both the Mayor, and the CEO, immediately felt that they had to defend their decisions. People only proactively defend something when they know that their decisions don’t have sufficient support to stand on their own merits.

    I think that probably said the most.

  2. Russell Garbutt

    I suspect that the most significant part in the story was that Mayor Chin suggests that the Council listen to submissions. He is careful to differentiate between listening and acting. “We know best” has long been the catchcry of this particular coterie. The recent exchanges reported on other sites between Guest, Walls and Collins and anyone who dares question Council activities is a disgrace that should not be tolerated. But it is a matter of pride amongst these typyes to score what they view as “points”, and a matter of course how Council relate to their employers – the ratepayers.

  3. ro

    Another telling point was that Jim Harland informed us that borrowing was a good way of spreading the load among future generations. This view was endorsed by Chin but when does Harland learn that what is good or bad for for Dunedin is decided by us, the citizens of Dunedin: not told us by our employees.

  4. Phil has a point that both Mayor Chin and CEO Harland both felt the need to justify the extra borrowing. Why? It has never been a problem before. Besides, it is no more than spin. If we look at successive LTCCPs over the years, never have they followed through as projected. The whole charade of the LTCCP process is only to placate and meet statutory requirements. The fact is that council and administration wing it an ongoing basis. Truth be they either don’t understand what they are doing or they don’t care.

  5. Richard

    “The recent exchanges reported on other sites between Guest, Walls and Collins and anyone who dares question Council activities is a disgrace that should not be tolerated.” So says Russell getting ‘all personal’ once again.

    Some facts.

    For a start, Michael Guest has not, as far as I know, been on any website for about a year now. When MG did ‘blog’ he has always used his own name. Russell overlooked that when, on ‘ODT On-line’ in December, reefing on in regard to the purchase of Carisbrook, assumed that another ‘Michael’ posting on that thread was MG. He wasn’t.

    Neil Collins has, as far as I know, never blogged.

    If Russell does not like “being caught out”, as he was with his claims and accusations (as distinct from opinions) in regard to the purchase of Carisbrook on ODT On-line in December, then “he just has to wear it”.

    As we have to do.

  6. Richard; you are saying that ‘if Russell does not like “being caught out” in regard to the purchase of Carisbrook, then he just has to wear it.’ As we (councillors) have to do. Richard, you are quite right, “we all have to wear it,” thanks to you and council making such an awful deal on our behalf.

  7. Richard
    Your continual holier than thou ‘you’re being personal’ line is getting tiresome. You are the supremo head kicker on council and it’s plain to everyone who has seen you in action over many years. Just face up and accept that this is your style – learnt no doubt from your mentor, Rob Muldoon, who had no equal. Except comedienne Joan Collins, who was not a politician as such, but could really dish it out.

  8. Russell Garbutt

    Richard, once again you let your mouth run off before reading anything carefully.

    I have not said anything about these other Councillors on sites – I said “reported on other sites”. It was widely reported that a number of Councillors including yourself were antagonistic to those that fronted up to Council forums. Indeed, I understand that even other Councillors remonstrated with some of the more vocal of those mentioned. I can certainly recall your name being mentioned more than once.

    I reiterate Richard, I am not going to get into some sort of personal nonsense with you – perfectly happy to discuss your decision record, and your unswerving support for the ratepayer funded rugby stadium and for similar stadia round the world. Care to trot out some facts on Wembley or Sydney to justify your point of view for example?

    To make it clear, I have not been caught out at anything Richard. What is becoming increasingly clear from many of the contributors and viewers to this, and other forums, is that you are no longer in touch with the concerns of the ratepayers, and you continually use aggression and personal attacks in an attempt to divert attention away from your unwillingness to deal with the issues – despite what you say to the contrary.

    I would suggest that you have a look at the Facebook Has the DCC lost the plot. site, to get some sort of indication of how you are viewed there. Those guys tend to be a bit more willing to address the personal qualities of some of the Councillors.

  9. Richard

    Thank you Russell. I hope your recovery is proceeding well.

  10. Richard

    Peter: I learnt to stand up to bullies in school.

    The internet – and blogs – has brought a new kind of ‘bullying’ with it. As we all know from some of the unfortunate incidents which have occurred in the USA, in particular.

    Here it is ‘verbal bullying’.

    The problem with your line – and Russell’s – is that you seldom respect anyone else’s point-of-view that does not accord with your own.

    Differ in opinions by all means.

    But, ‘verbal bullying’? I am surprised you want to go down that line.

  11. Richard

    Extracts from Exchanges on ODT OnLine, December 2009

    “Well Michael, we are all waiting
    Submitted by russandbev on Tue, 15/12/2009 – 8:02pm.

    So, it seems that you can’t think of a business that has been treated in the same way as professional rugby has in this city. What a surprise that is. I don’t think the voters of this city will forget who voted in support of this new rugby stadium – do you?

    Richard, you are missing my
    Submitted by russandbev on Sat, 12/12/2009 – 11:14am.

    You may care to pass on to your fellow Councillor -A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO THESE COMMENTS PAGES – that personal comments are usually the tactic to be followed when one cannot provide either facts or logical arguments to sustain a position.

    I have no idea who you are talking about
    Submitted by Richard Walls on Tue, 15/12/2009 – 10:34am.

    I am not aware of any of my council colleagues who “is a regular contributor to these comments pages”.

    Really Richard?
    Submitted by russandbev on Tue, 15/12/2009 – 8:13pm.

    Dear oh dear Richard. Not a clue? I am disappointed at your investigative skills, but let us all pass that by.

    Question for RussandBev
    Submitted by MichaelA on Wed, 16/12/2009 – 3:19pm.

    There are two Mikes and a Michael who post regularly here RussandBev. I have seen your question several times now but have never been quite sure which Mike or Michael you have been expecting a response from. Please clarify.

    euphoria
    Submitted by mikenette on Sat, 19/12/2009 – 3:52pm.

    Merry Xmas RusselandBev I didn’t realise this debate has got so serious.

    Sorry about the delay but I do have other stuff to deal with. Surprisingly for you dudes it’s nothing to do with council, ORFU or the CST. I have no involvement whatsoever other than I coach rugby.

    (ENDS)

  12. Richard
    You confuse my holding a mirror up to your words and actions, and saying directly how it comes across, with being a ‘verbal bully’. I have no wish to bully you. I am just challenging you with what you say, and how you say it at times. Is there any harm in that? I accept you may find me too direct in doing this. I am also entitled to defend myself.
    I thought you were a big boy and could handle it anyway.
    I believe I have acknowledged to you in the past that, at your best, you are an excellent source of knowledge about local body affairs and I understand you can be very helpful to new councillors in learning the ropes. At other times people don’t find you straightforward with answering questions and accounting for your actions on council – and your tone and manner to people quickly comes across as spiteful. You may not accept this, but we seem to keep returning to this issue, so there is obviously some truth in it. Maybe we should just leave it at that.

  13. Richard

    On to something more ‘constructive’.

    The comments by Mayor Peter Chin and CEO Jim Harland as reported in the ODT recently are not a ‘response’ to anything at all but simply extracts from their customary introductions to each Draft Annual Plan due to be released for consultation next week.

    The DAP will be posted in full on the DCC Website. I trust that all who post here will find it of interest!

    There may be a slight alteration in the page numbers, but on page 172 is the Net Debt Graph which – I am sure to some people’s surprise – shows little change in its trend from that which was in the DCC Annual Plan 2007-08.

    There was an election, of course, in October 2007 after that Plan had been adopted.

    What borrowings are used for, their extent and, I am always at pains to point out – the management of our debt etc – is a matter for legitimate expressions of opinion.

    As I noted at Council last Monday in speaking to the adoption of the draft, that opinion seems largely to become a matter of focus for many when it relates to whether they agree or disagree on the particular capital project it is committed to. Fair enough.

    And here, I fully acknowledge that Calvin’s view has always been much wider than a single project.

    As Standard & Poors correctly predicted, Council was always going to ‘underspend’ (I would say, “smooth things out’) as it has always done and which, in fact, was always going to happen as the the result of several councillor/ senior staff workshops held since August of last year.

    This is the first time, incidentally, that councillors have re-asserted their rightful role in financial strategic planning since ‘the drought of the Turner/McBey years”. Something that has been welcomed by senior staff.

    And, I am confident, that ‘partnership’ will continue to strengthen.

    The council has done its part. Now it is over to the public to “have their say”.

    Hopefully, that will include those of you who ‘post here’.

    I do not hold out ‘much hope’ that those who “Tweet” and “Twitter” on social sites will bother!

    • Elizabeth

      In relation to making submission on the Dunedin City Council Draft Annual Plan 2010/11 Richard says: “I do not hold out ‘much hope’ that those who “Tweet” and “Twitter” on social sites will bother!”

      Then you’re not up with the play, Richard. May your words come back to haunt you, each and every year.

      Social media are enjoyed by a vast range of people, all ages, many politically savvy, community-spirited business folk, media people, entrepreneurs, homebodies and educationalists (et al) are leaping into conversations, regional and global – daily, nightly. World’s ablaze. Dunedin’s ablaze. They’re not all tuned into Dunedin’s pro-stadia and anti-stadia facebook pages, obviously.

      Build social media and they will come.

      Does DCC know what the social media are.
      Very few council departments and councillors are tuned in.
      We’ve checked.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Richard, thank you for your concern – recuperating well.

    Not sure about the relevance of your posting above – I acknowledge being wrongly informed regarding who Mikenette is and now am correctly informed. I don’t intend making that information public just in case you ask.

    Now you are dealing in some issues, can I ask you to perhaps tell us your views on a matter that has come up on another thread on this site – that of the need to provide DVML’s Net Profit after Tax forecast figures. It is clear from published forecasts that the stadium will only perhaps break even in terms of operating if it doesn’t allow for interest and depreciation. Do you agree that interest and depreciation for the stadium should be ignored, and if so, why?

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