Monthly Archives: June 2012

Stockton, ‘the largest US city to fail’ (via MikeStk)

Although a city of almost 300,000, Stockton is a place where many families have known one another for generations.

### latimes.com June 27, 2012 | 4:40 am
L.A.Now
By Diana Marcum
Stockton bankruptcy will make history; residents reeling
Officials said Tuesday that Stockton would become the nation’s largest city to seek protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code. The city stopped making bond payments, and City Manager Bob Deis said he expected to file bankruptcy papers immediately. Stockton has been in negotiations with its creditors since late March under AB 506, a new California law requiring mediation before a municipality can file for reorganization of debt. It was the first use of the law, and policy analysts who watched its torturous and tedious progress have titled their report on it “Death by a Thousand Meetings.” Mediations ended Monday at midnight.
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How Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the city’s core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers won’t let their children play in the yard because of violence.

RELATED:
Stockton will be largest city to fail
Stockton bankruptcy: ‘All that’s left is sadness’ for city
Stockton braces for possible bankruptcy as key vote looms

[MikeStk at ODT Online]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

DCC recruitment process: DVML chief executive position

UPDATED POST

Comment received.

D Smith
Submitted on 2012/06/29 at 12:16 pm

I will try and recap my initial thoughts that disappeared into cyber space…

Clearly the CEO role is a critical position that will help decided the success / failure of the stadium and the corresponding debt burden to Dunedin. Mr Davies was brought on not only due to his venue management experience but also his international contacts and networks to help put the stadium on the world event map. Trying to sell a stadium which was not built or even tested would have been no mean feat (it would pose significant risk to any promoter) and from my perspective he has done a good job in attracting credible events but more importantly it appears has opened up the right communication lines and relationships with promoters. With a credible and now open stadium / event space we should be in an even better position to attract more events to lovely old Dunedin. This position needs someone who can bring not only the management and leadership skills but the ability to bring events into the stadium nationally and internationally.

From my understanding Mr Davies was recruited through an established and proven specialist firm Sheffield who have recruited these senior roles for 30 plus years. They did an international search which included not only advertising but researching the events sector, using their contacts and headhunting appropriate people to ensure the best person for the job could be found (as per ODT article http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/61724/finding-ceo-could-take-6-months). You see people like Sheffield and EQI continually advertising and recruiting these CEO type jobs nationally (ie the recent DCC CEO role).

It is surprising to see the current position is being advertised by a fairly unknown organisation which is part of a local blue collar recruiter. Looking at their website it doesn’t provide a strong background of delivering in this sector, how far do their contacts go, is it just Dunedin, has anyone seen them advertise roles before? Simply posting an advert will only attract people looking at the adverts, it’s a gamble to hope that the right person is looking, as opposed to someone finding the right person and then approaching them. Does this organisation have the networks and experience to research the international market like Sheffield did to find us the best possible person? In the ODT article it said it could take 6 months to find the first CEO, however the current role has a closing date of mid July?

When they are spending $50-85,000 (as per last time) on someone to find the right person is this money being spent in the right place? Did this go to open tender and were Sheffield considered as they have already researched this role 3 years ago and also maybe offer a discount as their first person is now leaving the job?

In a time when the council says they are watching consultants fees and spending one wonders if a key role for the city has been put in the right hands.

With the right CEO who knows what this could mean – positive cashflow? With the wrong person we all know what it will mean…

Comment received.

Phil
Submitted on 2012/06/29 at 6:41 pm

I would think that they have learnt the lesson from the exercise with Sheffield. Sheffield did nothing wrong, and neither did David Davies. Sheffield were instructed to find a top candidate with experience in managing top level international venues. Which they did. David Davies biggest crime since he arrived was to recognise the venue for what it actually was, and not try and paint it as something which it wasn’t. He has probably been the only practical person in the whole process and it’s a shame that we couldn’t find a place for him within the region.

The problem was that the recruitment brief was wrong. We recruited way beyond the actual means and requirements of the position. This isn’t a stadium in Manchester sitting in the middle of a population base of 10s of millions of potential customers. It’s a rugby stadium sitting in the lower half of an island with a population of 500,000 and a realistic target population of just over 100,000. It never required, nor could it sustain, a European type management structure. Worlds apart. In terms of global sporting venues, this is a blue collar venture, and can be perfectly adequately serviced by the right person within that group. Let’s not make the same mistake as before, and forget who we are.

Select Recruitment

Related Post and Comments:
22.6.12 DVML chief executive recruitment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: The lowdown on scooting

Today, a full page was taken out in the Otago Daily Times by your city council. An introduction to stripy “Strider” bearing a safety message for all children (or adults) who read the newspaper and ride scooters in the city, on footpaths and in playgrounds. (page 10)

Contact person (cuddly FAKE zebra?) is someone called Charlotte Flaherty, “DCC Safe and Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator”.

Could the council think up a more obtuse job title – or position – for a zoo animal?

Looks like the Spooks are a $5 million refuge for lost and mistreated animals. Did anyone tell Animal Control? Looks like some sort of ‘depart-mental’ double up in the Civic Centre.

A full page. Aimed primarily at children; and their parents. Scooting means you can chat to your friends, move independently, be fast, have fun, and be more active.

Wow. Transport to and from school is more than the car’s back seat? We’ve passed the age of cotton wool kids and parent taxis? What just happened there.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Otago Settlers Museum

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Jun 2012
Toitu official after mayor casts vote
By Debbie Porteous
Comments from Dunedin residents deemed as “ignorant” and “thinly veiled racism” were swept aside yesterday as Mayor Dave Cull used his casting vote to break a councillor deadlock on the addition of a Maori name to the Otago Settlers Museum’s title. Mr Cull’s vote means it will now be known as “Toitu Otago Settlers Museum”, rather than the name being referred back to the community development committee for further consideration.

Cr Richard Thomson “One or two” people had told him they would not like a Maori name for anything. “In fact, a number of views presented to me were thinly veiled racism.”

Cr Kate Wilson said it was “about time we got over ourselves and allowed ourselves to acknowledge our Maori heritage”.

Cr Chris Staynes “In this city’s history, we [the council] have allowed a few small-minded conservative individuals to influence us in our decision-making. That should not continue.”

Mayor Dave Cull described the emails he received about the new name as “at best ignorant” and at worst “just plain bigoted”.

The poll found most people preferred the museum’s name to remain “Otago Settlers Museum”.
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ODT Online Polls (unscientific):

What is your preferred renaming choice for the Settlers Museum?
54% (1314 votes) said they prefer “Otago Settlers Museum”.

Is Toitu: Otago Settlers Museum the right name for the redeveloped museum?
76% (537 votes) said No.

Related Post:
31.5.12 The ‘happy’ little renaming of our leading social history museum

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2012/06/26 at 8:38 am

I don’t think that many people realise the significance of the material that Martin Legge has in his possession regarding the activities of the Otago Rugby Football Union, the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport and The Trusts Charitable Foundation.

People who have examined the Acklin budget published on this site may not realise the significance of this particular document, but suffice to say that setting up the machinery and entities so that the proceeds from pokie funds can find their way to activities involving professional sport are illegal. Amongst other things.

What is most significant to me is the unwillingness of DIA to actually do their job. While I have been assured personally by Mr Maarten Quivooy of DIA that they take their roles and responsibilities seriously, it is simply unbelievable that the DIA did not pursue what was, and still is, being offered up to them in terms of hard evidence of illegal activities. They are under no misapprehension of what my views of their investigations are.

The “new” evidence that I have offered to the DIA for the most part is evidence that either was in the public domain – eg the email trail involving Mr Curragh who admitted to using pokie funds generated for one purpose for other purposes – or was simple to obtain. One example of the latter is [from] one former employee of the ORFU who has clear evidence of how the Centre of Excellence and the ORFU conspired to ensure that the trail of pokie funds was obscured. That type of evidence was, as I say, simple to obtain and reporters also have knowledge of that evidence as an example.

Some questions need to be asked by everyone of the DIA as to whether they were “persuaded” not to pursue certain lines of enquiry. Is it true for example as has been reported, that a senior MP had an undue influence on whether the Department did their job? Others need to be asked about the lack of accountability within DIA for ineptness, unwillingness to pursue matters and apparent willingness to accept the pathetic responses of people who were intimately involved with rorts, fraud and other illegal activities. The DIA has stated on more than one occasion that the whole setup in Dunedin “smelled” and the parties “got away with it”.

I believe that the DIA even now should meet Mr Legge to explain why they failed to act in light of overwhelming evidence of illegality and I think that it would be extremely valuable if Mr Legge would post his evidence of how this particular scheme worked.

The DIA say that they now have a major investigation underway but cannot or will not let anyone know the subject of that investigation. Mr Legge has, in the past, been told that his evidence was so good that a slamdunk prosecution was imminent. What happened? Nothing.

I look forward to seeing a more widespread knowledge of how these people in our community did what they did.

Related Post:
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Defamation

ODT has yet to report…

### yahoo.com June 25, 2012, 7:00 pm
Dunedin mayor’s defamation case rolls on
Source: NZ Newswire
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull remains on course for a court date with the defamation case brought against him by former Otago Rugby Union members Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains. Associate High Court Judge Rob Osborne had a teleconference with lawyers representing all parties on Monday. Mr Cull’s solicitor Daniel McLellan said the teleconference was a routine chambers conference and declined to comment further. […] Another teleconference is scheduled for three weeks’ time.
Read more

Related Post:
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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New Zealand Architects: Pete Bossley, and Ian and Clare Athfield

### radionz.co.nz Monday 18 June 2012
Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

Feature Guest – Pete Bossley
Auckland-based architect Pete Bossley last month won the NZ Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal for 2012. The Director of Bossley Architects is best known for his designs for Te Papa, the Voyager Maritime Museum and the McCahon Artist Retreat in Auckland. (34′00″)
Gallery: Architecture by Pete Bossley
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

10:40 Book Review – Athfield Architects
Written by Julia Gatley, published by Auckland University Press. Reviewed by Jeremy Hansen. (5′27″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed
http://www.homenewzealand.blogspot.co.nz/

****

### radionz.co.nz Saturday 23 June 2012
Saturday Morning with Kim Hill
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

10:05 Playing Favourites with Ian and Clare Athfield
Ian and Claire Athfield have been running one of New Zealand’s most celebrated architectural practices for over four decades, and their work is celebrated in a new book and gallery exhibition. (40′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Note: *Radio New Zealand misspells Clare Athfield’s first name as ‘Claire’; the error is repeated in their Urls for the item.

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