DCC pedalling to…… #hell

Received from Jeff Dickie
Sat, 7 Jun 2014 at 3:41 pm

You could be forgiven for thinking Cull, Bidrose, the Finance Committee, and the majority of compliant councillors don’t have a vision for Dunedin’s future. That to believe that, not hearing bad news, smiling and riding a bike, will make the financial mire we are now in go away. That to continue to spend huge amounts on yet more foolish projects will somehow fix things. That to embrace a culture of no accountability will magically preclude the idiots who have cocked up so many DCC things in the recent past, doing EXACTLY the same thing again.

Just look at how many of the idiots who have foisted this debt and the numerous foolish failed projects are still on council. These people do have a vision, and here it is!

image

Hopefully the cycle trail will lead there.

Jeff Dickie
Woodhaugh

****

An opinion piece from 28.9.12, written by Calvin Oaten, continues to have currency.

The End of The Golden Weather?
Are we coming to the end of the ‘Golden Weather’? I say this, not in the meteorological sense, but rather in the sense that perhaps our society and its economic construct might be on the verge of a catastrophic change. Why? Well it seems that many signposts are pointing to an approaching collapse of the present model of the economy as constructed. This requires constant growth in order to sustain an ever increasing social budget.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image supplied.

5 Comments

Filed under Business, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

5 responses to “DCC pedalling to…… #hell

  1. Elizabeth

    Refer to (now city councillor) Neville Peat’s treatise on poverty in September 2012:

    Poverty poses danger to future of our society
    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/227468/poverty-poses-danger-future-our-society

  2. Elizabeth

    Further to Jeff’s post, Cr Thomson has a bold idea….

    Cash stash may repay some debt
    The Dunedin City Council is considering raiding its ”jam jars” of money to help accelerate debt repayments. Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie planned to present a report on the issue to the committee later this year.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/305311/cash-stash-may-repay-some-debt

  3. Elizabeth

    Received at 10:53am today from Maurice Prendergast – an opinion piece he rediscovered “…which has delivered me to a ‘reflective state’. It was written at a time following my being dumped from Council (presumably because I espoused a few facts that the electors at large did not have an appetite for). I was trying to keep my head down (in contrition) as the vanquished are required to do, but when Peter Chin took a dismissive swipe at me as one who could not embrace legislative change, I felt bound to offer a lesson in law to a man who was (presumably) trained in law, the intrinsic difference between permissive law and prescriptive law.
     
    Have we not all been spared that Peter never became a Judge during the period when hanging by the neck was a penalty allowed as permissive law, but not a prescriptive law?
     
    This piece was written more than six years ago and while some may say ‘how insightful’ I’m happy to humbly entitle this fiscal train crash as ‘how predictable’.”

    The Sin of Omission!
     
    It is said that to grow old is obligatory, but to grow wise is optional. The veracity of this piece of philosophy is no better illustrated than in the responses elicited by the ODT (Feb 3) from Dunedin’s mayor Peter Chin in relation to the merits (or otherwise) of the rampant expenditure of ratepayer funds on discretionary projects.
     
    In order for my views to be understood with absolute clarity, I need to offer a distillation of the absurdity of the rating system – the means by which local authorities win their revenue. The rating system has its origins some three centuries ago under the Westminster system of property tax. It predates the concept of ‘debt funding’ of property ownership and turns on a presumption that the value of one’s property is genuinely representative of the owner’s means. The concept was brought to the British colonies at the time of settlement and 300 years later is such an anachronism that it now constitutes a form of legislative theft. The concept is perverse because current day property ownership is represented by up to 90% debt, but the system still assumes that the property owner enjoys 100% equity. The service charges for no other service in the western world embraces this crazed concept and we should not be surprised, because (for instance) imagine the angst at the forecourt if a motorist in a $50,000 vehicle was charged 10 times more per litre than the $5,000 vehicle beside them – on the absurd presumption that their vehicle was debt free!
     
    So having established that the means by which local authorities harvest their funds is at least manifestly dishonest and at worst is legislatively laundered theft, the victim ratepayer’s only recourse to relief is the hope that his/her elected representative will manage their funds with prudence by limiting their financial exposure to this obscenity; thus ensuring that no more funds be harvested by this means than is necessary to provide them with the core services. Indeed the ratepayer can expect to be served in such a prudent way because enshrined in the councillor’s oath of office is the obligation of a ‘fiduciary duty’ – the failure of which exposes a councillor to some serious penalties.
     
    Mayor Chin’s espoused support (which he curiously kept to himself pre-election) for the proposed stadium and other speculative expenditure seems to fortify the view that while age is obligatory, wisdom is indeed optional. He seems to rest his case on the very questionable legislation that gives Councils the ‘power of general competence’. I respectfully suggest that his sin of omission in sheltering under this legislation is that the legislation is permissive rather than prescriptive. Permissive legislation (as opposed to prescriptive) can only be morally embraced if all other fiscal disciplines have been met. Does he (or other prophets) seriously believe that such a project that (by the Stadium Trust’s own tables) will expose a debt-laden rural property an hour’s travel from the site to a potential dedicated Carisbrook rate of $2000+GST  is (as quoted) a ‘cost worthy of the return’? How does his brand of wisdom rationalise the fiscal prudence of the proposal that the stadium’s anchor tenant be the recently reported ‘close to insolvency’ Otago Rugby Football Union, which included in its indebtedness is an unpaid $2M loan from the hapless ratepayers?
    How indeed does he or his fellow visionaries align such recklessness with the elected members’ required exercise of fiduciary duty?
     
    As a ‘vanquished’ councillor, I have assiduously remained silent on recent happenings in a conscious attempt not to be seen as a ‘sore loser’. However, when I read the view by Mayor Chin that “……those who had been on the Council a long time found it a ‘quantum leap’ to take in the wider range of activities……”, it became time for me to break my silence.  Because the legislative shift to the ‘power of general competence’ only allowed new activities to be considered  – it does not require all things considered to be implemented – as is simplistically implied by the Mayor’s ‘swipe’ at long serving Councillors. It was with those licentious members who could not make the interpretive distinction between the ‘power of general competence’ and the ‘power of general incompetence’ that I always had difficulty. As the charity of my patience is exhausted,  Mayor Chin’s comments serve only to confirm that nothing has changed.

    [ends]

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The English language is full of traps. What’s the bet that some people read the words “‘fiduciary duty’” and, assuming – if they thought about it at all – that etymology is something Ear Nose and Throat specialists do, concluded that fiduciary duty means something about maintaining a tradition of fiddling the books?

      • Elizabeth

        [still trying to contain myself after frosty, icy rigour at the Hedderwick thread – he’s ‘healthily’ red-cheeked, having played for too long outside in the snow]

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