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

23 Comments

Filed under DCC, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Urban design

23 responses to “DCC: The lowdown on scooting

  1. Anonymous

    Poof! There’s goes another ten thousand Public Dollars lazily dropped into the Allied Press bucket. It’s an old trick involving the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Daily Times. My guess is someone’s been a particularly good Stakeholder recently.

  2. The DCC Safe and Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator could be Dunedin’s most useless bureaucrat, or does maybe this title belong to one of the “Sustainability” roles? The Council is going to be under financial pressure for the foreseeable future, and unable to afford non-essentials, so there will be less work for staff. It is time to trim the bloated bureaucracy.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz June 29, 2012 – 7:20pm
      ORC hoping to increase road safety
      The Otago Regional Council is hoping to spend $452 million over the next three years, to increase safety on Otago roads. Plans include updating accident hotspots and improving upon the intersections which already exist around the city.
      Video

  3. Safe and Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator, now that just rolls off the tongue.
    I wonder how much we spent dreaming this position up? 20-30G? More? No doubt a lot more, to come up with a title like that must be worth a heap of meetings for a start…

    No doubt to that Lotte is laughing her arse off about landing this one.

    • Elizabeth

      If ‘sustainable’ she might’ve refused to sign the contract until the job title was changed – or be the brunt of public mirth.

  4. Pear

    Every now and then I read your page, but probably this is the last time. It is sad to read your posts really. All bitter, negative, full of snob sarcasm, What is exactly that you are trying to achieve?

  5. Anonymous

    How many millions was spent creating the Spooks department at Dunedin City Council? How do you filter their meddlings from Farry’s Soldiers or members of that Facebook page? They are recogisable by their need to appear genuine instead of being genuine.

    Too much money, trying to be too clever. Please come again.

  6. Phil

    Speaking of DCC and transport, I heard a big grizzle from inside the hallowed halls a couple of days ago. Paul Orders’ latest economy drive (pardon the pun) effort has been to put the brakes (another goody) on the practice of staff routinely taking home DCC cars at night. Good on you, Paul, and not a day too soon. A bouquet from me. This blatant abuse used to annoy the hell out of me. 50 cars in the DCC car pool that would disappear at 5pm every evening. You would get mowed down if you dared walk in front of the garage driveway at 30 seconds past 5pm. The majority of cars are now unmarked (big mistake), removing the ability to monitor private usage of publicly funded vehicles. They should all be marked. The only area potentially requiring stealth is noise control, and that’s carried out by private contractors (in their own MARKED vehicles, I might add). There is no reason why staff members need to take DCC cars home at night and weekends. 99.9% of the staff are not on a 24 hour callout. Of those who might be called out (once every 6 months), the majority live no more than 15 minutes from the DCC garage. They can easily drive to the Octagon and collect a DCC car if they need. The Chief Building Inspector does not need a DCC 4wd car parked up in his Wakari driveway every night. No one from the I.T. department should be driving to and from Fairfield to work in a DCC car. City Property staff do not need free undercover carparks 2 minutes from the Octagon. Rodney Bryant did not need a dedicated unmarked DCC car which no other staff member was allowed to use (although that may have been a passive smoking Health and Safety issue to protect the rest of the staff). My alltime favourite was the Environmental Health Officer who used to schedule his restaurant inspections for 8am every day (every day), so that he would “have” to take a DCC car home the night before. It’s childish behaviour and good on the CEO for doing what these supposed professionals should have had the decency to do themselves.

    • Elizabeth

      Why do I think the DCC police visiting this site may have read your earlier comments on Council vehicles, Phil. The People’s Panel is a trace too late. Hah! We’ll always be a vehicle, for feedback.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Speaking of ‘scooting’, I had today a letter in the ODT which was abridged. I don’t normally have a problem with this, except in this instance it resulted in missing the point I was trying to make. For what it is worth here is the full version:

    COUNCILLOR SYD BROWN’S (ODT 6/7/12) dismissal of Hilary Calvert’s comments regarding the merits of the DCC Property department was indicative of council’s attitude to any criticism regarding its actions. He slightly berates her for not being aware of the council’s property activities, stating: “that for her’s and readers’ benefit, the council has for many years owned a significant portfolio of endowment property which, by law cannot be sold off without the proceeds being re-invested in property to the advantage of the city’s ratepayers.”

    This in itself, does not in any way explain away Ms Calvert’s concerns. Why, for instance should the city be investing in commercial property in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland? Why indeed, should the DCC be seen as active competitors to local property owners, who do not enjoy the benefits of passing all risks to the ratepayers? The mantra, “of returns to the citizens of a contribution of $4.2 million, resulting in a reduction of $66 in their rates”, is of little consolation, compared with the cost of servicing the debt the city now holds. If all the commercial – non strategic – property held was liquidated, what better use could the proceeds be put to
    than the reduction of that debt mountain? As a large amount of that debt surrounds the Town Hall, OSM and Stadium developments, why would that not fulfill the terms and requirements of those endowment monies? The benefits would, I am sure, be much greater than $66 pa per ratepayer. Indeed, it would result in the closing down of a considerable overhead in the property dept, plus the ceasing of the urge to build an empire, as is shown by that department’s recent actions.

    It is time for a serious reappraisal of this council’s activities.

    • Elizabeth

      Cr Sydney Brown again pours acid on Hilary Calvert in today’s ODT (page 14). She requests “actual figures” for the returns DCC receives from the Wall Street development in George St. How dare she!
      Seems Hilary wants Syd to bend over, the old boy can only creak and groan digging up numbers from a previous ODT news item on City Property’s investment portfolio (9.6.12 page 31). Can’t she read!
      Syd chairs the council’s Finance, Strategy and Development committee – I’m glad he buys the ODT!
      He says Wall Street opened in 2009 (worth $32m – when exactly?…) and now generates annual profits of $2.6m, representing an 8.2% return on investment.
      Syd, baby, I’m not at all sure “the figures speak for themselves”. Got a feeling Tony Clear as near neighbour investor takes a different view.
      Loosely, the building has a ‘fake historical glazed’ facade to the main street. Isn’t that true of figures too.

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/212584/council-seeks-15-million-portfolio-boost

  8. Russell Garbutt

    All of these staff and the DCC would have been liable for fringe benefit tax on this practice. It would be interesting to know exactly how much FBT the DCC have been paying – or rather you and I paying on the provision of personal transport. I too have noticed the exodus from the DCC garage at 5pm and wondered just how the staff got away with it for so long – but then again, didn’t Jimbo the renowned short person have a very strong interest in vehicles, the garaging of them and the costs of that?

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s that $66 number again. Is there something in the collective subconscious coming out unintentionally? Wikileaks says it well: “In modern popular culture, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or, alternatively, the Devil. Earnest references to the number occur both among apocalypticist Christian groups and in explicitly anti-Christian subcultures. References in contemporary Western art or literature are, more likely than not, intentional references to the Beast symbolism.” It’s recognised even if not accorded a moment’s conscious worry by people I was surprised to hear mention it at all.

    So 66 coming up as dollar amounts may be, subconsciously, an attempt to keep a fingerhold on the cliffs of Righteousness while making self-advantaging alliances with the devil’s temporal negotiators the liars, rorters and other low-lifes in smart clothes, what do you think? The subconscious has many strange ways of communicating what the conscious self denies.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    Sheesh! Hypo, I didn’t realise that 66 was symbolic of an ‘occult’ Perhaps explains a lot of things. Then again it might just be Athol’s waist size. Whatever, it is just a nonsense in this context.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Calvin, it’s not a nonsense – it’s been the “magic number” chosen out of nowhere. I suggest out of people’s subconscious, because you of all people kept a close eye on the figures and I think you will agree that they haven’t been based on fact or realistic assessments!

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Oops, sent too soon, was going to point out that 66 without the final 6 is watered down, we’ll get away with it and still stay on “the side of the angels”, peelly-wally, unconscious revelation (!) of where they stand.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Puh-LEASE!

  14. Phil

    If Paul Orders is hunting for more suggestions, he can take a look at the ridiculous “retention” money being paid to lower and middle DCC managers over and above their listed salary. Bumping up the gross income to between 30 and 50% higher than the salary listed for them. No staff member in the DCC is that indispensable. Likewise to the staff members receiving 105% of their graded salary, year after year, supposedly reserved for a “one off action”. This practice has been going on for so long now that staff are expecting it as a right.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Good lord. Retention money, golden handshakes – they fleece us coming and going. What about a fair rate of pay for doing the job? Shouldn’t be necessary to say “doing the job well” – it’s not like there’s a world wide shortage of middle management, they’re not like neurosurgeons and anaesthetists.

  16. Anonymous

    Is that 8.2% after all costs have been taken out?
    No, didn’t think so.

  17. Elizabeth

    (a step up from scooting) Ms Flaherty now has a REAL job at DCC rolling out politicised cycle strategy to our youngest residents. I sure as hell didn’t need a salaried council officer to teach me not to fall off a bike nor kill myself on public roads (or $47m cycleways) because I didn’t know the road code or how to ride defensively. Nor did I need a helmet to be rational and coordinated! Cotton wool kids.

    Cr Wilson falls off that set of handlebars.

    —-

    ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Feb 2015
    Programme aims to make young cyclists safer on roads
    By John Lewis
    The Dunedin City Council’s cycle skills training programme is on a roll after receiving four new bikes to help make children street-wise. The bicycles were given by The Warehouse Dunedin central store, and would be used as part of a wider cycle education project operating in South Dunedin primary schools, secondary schools and youth and family organisations.
    Read more

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz February 24, 2015 – 5:54pm
    Cycle training programme delivered in several schools
    There’s a cycling resurgence across the city, with Dunedin school pupils prominent among those embracing the mode of transport. Accordingly, a city council-led cycle training programme is being delivered in several schools, to teach children about road safety. And it appears to be paying off.
    Video

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