Mayor Dave Cull: thinking, diligent and accessible

The job did open him up to the sort of aspects of New Zealand life that could restore faith in human nature.

### ODT Online Sat, 30 Apr 2011
Seeing his way clear
By David Loughrey
If a week is a long time in politics, six months may seem like an eternity to the five Otago mayors who ended up in charge after last October’s local government elections. That anniversary passed this month, and the Otago Daily Times asked our leaders for their thoughts on their term so far, and the highlights and low points of running a city or district.

“One of the things I find really challenging, given the number and range of important things in front of us, is council finding the time to get together and consider them properly and chew them over, progress them.”

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull rode into power on a wave of displeasure with the previous administration, gaining the leadership with promises of a more open and transparent council that would be more frugal than the last version.
Read more

ODT Online: 200 days in office

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, People, Politics

3 responses to “Mayor Dave Cull: thinking, diligent and accessible

  1. Peter

    Nothing has really changed with this council which after all, is basically the same as the previous one- bar three new councillors. There is the much the same obstructiveness and/or avoidance of providing information through Official Information requests being sought by various people. The implied promised ‘opening of the books’ through greater ‘transparency’ hasn’t happened.
    The ‘finding the time to get together and consider them (important things) properly and chew them over, progress them’ may have some validity in the hurly burly of a high workload. I don’t envy the mayor or councillors in this regard. However, this also presumes the council is acting as a cohesive team. Not so sure on this one. On the previous council there was clearly an ‘in’ group and an ‘out’ group making majority decisions. Nothing seems to have changed in this regard, by all accounts, and from what can be witnessed in the media with the interplay of personalities.
    The last election had a big focus on DCC debt. Yet the spending continues largely unabated. There seems to be no consensus around the council table to forgo pet projects held by individual councillors. Except for mainly three to sometimes five councillors – depending on the vote – the stadium continues to be sacrosanct for additional spending, as required. I am waiting for the private sector funding promises for the stadium to evaporate ‘due to economic conditions’. Where will we be left then? We know. Back to the ratepayers.
    I can’t comment on these community consultation focus groups Dave Cull speaks about because I don’t belong to one or know of anyone who does belong to one. But from listening to various types of people I pick up a distinct ‘business as usual’ feeling about the council. Pretty sad really.

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Peter,
    You only have to read the 2011/12 Draft Annual Plan to see that nothing has changed. Proof positive, if it was ever needed that the tail wags the dog (elected council being the dog) in this city. The saying used to be,”pay peanuts get monkeys”, now we get monkeys at any price.

  3. wirehunt

    I like your last line Calvin. It could also read “Dunedin, with the best paid clowns in NZ”.

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