Taieri Aquatic Centre: Second try for SECRET meeting —hosted by Mayor

Remember this?
█ 10.2.15 Dunedin City Councillors invited to Secret Meeting #Mosgiel

How that SECRET meeting was abandoned after being exposed by What if? Dunedin…
█ 13.2.15 ‘Taieri Aquatic Centre’, email from M. Stedman via B. Feather

The email of 13 February indicated the next meeting would include the public: “The benefits of council and the community talking to each over major initiatives can’t be over stated.”

Men who swim [kpbs.org] 1

The latest email (below) suggests a change of tactics.

This is evidence of a ‘new’ SECRET meeting, at the instigation of Mayor Cull !!
(What if? received two copies of the email, leaks….)

A public-excluded workshop for a +$17 million pool complex, a facility designed to line the pockets of private developers (responsible for unfettered housing sprawl on the Taieri) and the good old boys’ whose businesses line the Mosgiel mainstreet —with lashings of Otago Rugby training time and hydrotherapy sessions. To be at Ratepayers’ expense, entirely.

Why is Mayor Cull involved in organising this workshop at 6pm. Will Council staff be paid overtime for their attendance. Why is Mayor Cull involved in this at all when it appears there’s no Council funding in the Long Term Plan (LTP) for new pools at Mosgiel. What’s going on.

We all know how public private partnerships (PPP) fail at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers. This is well documented nationally and internationally. Be warned. The sleazy Mosgiel/Dunedin crew are hardly honest venture philanthropists; and Dunedin City Council is a lie a minute in the care and presentation of its annual reports.

Email received.
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 at 8:36 p.m.

From: Monique Elleboode [DCC]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2015 12:56 p.m.
To: Community Board – Mosgiel Taieri 2013-2016
Subject: Taieri Community Facilities Trust – workshop – Tuesday 3 March, at 6pm, Plaza Conference Room

Dear All

The Mayor, together with the Chair of the Taieri Community Facilities Trust, invite you to a workshop with members of the Taieri Community Facilities Trust to discuss the decision making frame work (sic) around the proposed Mosgiel Aquatic Facility.

Council staff will give a presentation covering areas including the Spatial Plan, Council Strategic framework, New Zealand Aquatic facility development guidelines and implications for Mosgiel, options and financial implications.

This workshop takes place on Tuesday 3 March at 6pm, in the Plaza Conference Room, on the Ground Floor of the Civic Centre Building, the Octagon, Dunedin.

Please confirm your attendance back with Monique, 474 3855, or monique.elleboode @dcc.govt.nz
Thank you
Monique
Monique Elleboode
Personal Assistant to the Mayor of Dunedin
Dunedin City Council

Related Posts and Comments:
● 13.2.15 ‘Taieri Aquatic Centre’, email from M. Stedman via B. Feather
● 10.2.15 Dunedin City Councillors invited to Secret Meeting #Mosgiel
11.10.14 New Mosgiel Pool trust declared —(ready to r**t)
23.7.14 Mosgiel Pool: Taieri Times, ODT…. mmm #mates
16.7.14 Stadium: Exploiting CST model for new Mosgiel Pool #GOBs
● 4.2.14 DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project…
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets and stuff ratepayers
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 [see this comment & ff]
16.11.13 Community board (Mosgiel-Taieri) clandestine meetings
25.1.12 Waipori Fund – inane thinkings from a councillor
19.5.10 DScene – Public libraries, Hillside Workshops, stadium, pools
12.4.10 High-performance training pool at stadium?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: kpbs.org – Men who swim

34 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Hot air, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

34 responses to “Taieri Aquatic Centre: Second try for SECRET meeting —hosted by Mayor

  1. Rob Hamlin

    This E-mail, if it is genuine, would suggest that His Worship intends to make this pool complex happen. If it was snoozing as an unfunded item on the long term plan, then why would he be wasting his time now?

    We now know that the Pool Trust have generated absolutely no credible evidence that the wider Mosgiel community would willingly put $7.5 million (or is that $8.5 million?) into this project. Their model is based upon just a smallish group of unidentified but presumably wealthy people putting in most of the money in accordance with a schedule that sees the lion’s share coming from just a dozen or so individuals. The recent FB Stadium experience suggests that this level of support for a public facility from this small super-well-heeled community is very unlikely to materialise.

    As voluntary donations don’t seem to be a goer, then the only way that His Worship can make this happen is thus to ping the ratepayers compulsorily for pretty much all of it. This may be via a Mosgiel targeted rate, a general City rate rise, more debt, asset sales or a combination of them. None are likely to be popular.

    The only the alternative to that scenario is a deal with some of the local entrepreneurs/speculators to fund at least some of it. As it might well represent a very good return on the business investment, I suspect that both land and cash would be forthcoming from some members of that particular community in exchange for certain facilitations.

    The link between cash and considerations would not necessarily have to be publicly acknowledged of course if, like the meeting proposed here, the negotiations and deals are carefully kept ‘off the public piste’, and the deals are not deals in the legal and contractual sense, but take the form of unminuted ‘understandings’ that are not committed to paper.

    If this could be achieved, then several years may pass between a smallish set of large (and maybe largely anonymous) local donations to the cause and a set of apparently unrelated and fiscally significant rural to residential rezoning decisions and resource consents. Good luck in the libel courts to anyone trying to demonstrate a link between any particular ‘community pillar’s’ private generosity and their subsequent public good fortune.

    Of course I do not for one minute think that His Current Worship, who is an upstanding fellow who is dedicated to open government and free and equal treatment and access to decision makers and information for all would ever consider for one moment in engaging in such activities – and the same goes for his equally fiscally prudent council colleagues, ramrod-straight managers, and all the other disinterested enthusiasts involved in this project. I am just pointing out that such things are possible if the level of local connectivity and corruption in local government becomes high enough.

    I am sure that we can all rest assured that this is not the case here. The recently released inquiry into Cityfleet supports my position on this matter as it suggests that ethical issues within the DCC’s organisation (if there actually are any) are restricted to isolated individuals who operate alone. So we will just have to take the hit on the rates if it happens.

    The most interesting thing that we do not know is how many if any of the city councillors are going to be at this meeting. None are mentioned in the message. I would be surprised if Lee Vandervis has got an invite. But if a working majority of the Council and a quorum of key City officers are in attendance at this private and presumably unminuted meeting, and they do come to some form of consensus about this project, then there is a possibility that things could start to happen pretty rapidly and unstoppably in the official and minuted public arena thereafter.

  2. Anonymous

    The pool won’t be $7.5M of course. It will be built on the marketing of $7.5M. But quickly turn into $9.5M. Then, oops, found such-and-such, can’t-back-down-now $12M. Then, oh well, $15M because we-can’t-stop-now. Then $18.5M to get it over the line. And, finally, to put back in some of those costs that were removed to keep it “on time and under budget”, about $25M. We’re talking about a new community pool after all and the usual bunch of vultures circling the council. The GOBs will get their cut and some will continue to do so long after with some underhand council-backed interest deal. The ODT will pursue this like a kitten up a tree but quickly forget about the poor creature while it erects a sign to itself up there.

    If they could provide a written and signed agreement that it will be $7.5M and then raise 50% before proceeding then I’d take it serious. Otherwise it’s just the next opportunity for invoice fraud and money grabbing by a few “key stakeholders”, supported by a Mayor who appears to hope the bad men won’t walk him off that last bit of the plank.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Like: If a stormwater pipe should be installed passing along the boundary of my property it ‘could’ enable me to flush some dollars down it on the assumption there will be a trap to catch them at the end and possibly be used to enhance the welfare of the community.” That it is the ratepayers at large who funded the aforementioned pipe in the first place is just happenstance or purely coincidental. Dave Cull would surely understand this mechanism.

  4. Elizabeth

    Now is the time to send your soundings on the cost (capital outlay and operationals) and the political reading of funding methods and your associated opinions to the mayor, all councillors and the chief executive. They can’t say they weren’t warned in writing, applies! This paper trail (forget that it seems specious) of their potential financial crimes against the ratepayers and residents of this community can then be studied in black and white diary fashion when the time comes, with their individual names attached. We should have done more of this collectively with the stadium project, and made sure to frame a few on legal letterhead.

  5. Jacob

    Talk is that the meeting has had to be rescheduled, because they had been alerted that the meeting out in Mosgiel could have been gate crashed by a large group of concerned members of the Mosgiel public, and they were having difficulty in recruiting a close associate of the CST, who was to give advice on how to pull the wool over the Mosgiel ratepayers’ eyes, if the public were included in the meeting.

    • Elizabeth

      Oh. So this then becomes a reason for Mayor Cull to manipulate and avoid democratic principles, for the potential theft of ratepayer funds put to a PET PROJECT.

      The least THE INVITED could agree is a fully independent minute secretary be present, to fully record the business of the meeting for public release.

      Tell the CST’s robber barons like Farry, Edgar and whomever (Brown? & Co) to fuck off.

      Stedman has gone to the far side.

  6. Whippet

    The two. Who are issuing this invitation (above), are the same two as I recall, that stood in the town hall, with great acclamation, wanting transparency and accountability for the stadium debacle. How the worms have turned. Now promoting secret meetings away from the public eye in pursuit of their own, and their cronies’ glory.

    {Link to Town Hall speeches by Cull and Stedman – (posted 1.12.14) https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/stadium-review-lgoima-request-and-2009-town-hall-speeches/ -Eds}

  7. Diane Yeldon

    You are right to bring this issue to public attention. I love swimming and the Moana Pool complete, one of the best in New Zealand, was one of the things which attracted me to Dunedin. However, as I started to realise how local government worked here, during the decision-making about building the stadium, I realised how odd it was that the University of Otago didn’t have a swimming pool of its own, considering its prominence in physical education and health sciences. Then I realised it did have one after all – it was called Moana Pool and had been built at the ratepayers’ expense and the very high quality of the facility was really overkill for the permanent local population. When the university students are away the pool is quite quiet. Dunedin ratepayers have been subsidising the university and other businesses including professional and commercial interests for decades. It’s simply the [way] local government is done here. And now from the info you present here it appears to be happening yet again with the proposed Mosgiel Pool. There is pressure on Moana Pool with schools and other commercial user groups. Easier for organised groups who want more pool time to travel to Mosgiel. So this proposal is not necessarily aimed at benefiting Mosgiel residents. It’s hard enough already for a ratepayer to get a decent swim at Moana Pool with so many commercial user groups.

    {iPad typos corrected, with a query over the square bracket – our guess? -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I am sure there was a pool for physio students at ?Polytech? but for some reason it was closed. Was physiotherapy a polytech course for a while, before being brought into the university? Teacher training was brought into the university, and nursing seems to be in both institutions, with greater stress on academic status than old-time workplace skills.
      There was also the flume for training and research in fast=flowing water.
      Closed.

      School pools fell victim to the butt-covering overkill regulations aimed at ensuring that life should be totally without any hint of risk. I know of one that was not “earthquake safe”, it was used by the community which has poor bus transport into town, making visits to Moana pool expensive and very time-consuming for anyone without a car, or a family member available and willing to drive there. Other elfin safety regs involve water testing and the presence of trained “minders” at all times, far beyond what had worked for years and years. Someone whose star-sign is the Clipboard worked his/her bum off thinking of risks that rules could be made about. Compliance killed the school-community pools.
      What happens to people who miss out on swimming education, and exercise, isn’t in the job description of the aforementioned tick boxer.

  8. Diane Yeldon

    I have swum at Moana Pool regularly for the last 12 years or so. Once a woman, visiting Dunedin and staying at the Hyatt- Kingsgate hotel just round the corner told me she had got complimentary (free) pool tickets and I thought – how does that work? Also since Moana Pool is a public pool, I think there should legally always be lanes available for the public. However this is not necessarily the case with the Learners Pool where a group of older people used to swim (because it has easy access and is warm and you won’t get mowed down by someone doing butterfly) when it opened at 6am along with the rest of the pool complex. For a long time, it has been shut till just before 9am when commercial children’s swimming lessons start. The ‘reason’ given is lack of staff but I think it may really be to discourage public use. And if there are any public lanes set aside while lessons are going on, no-one uses them because they are not readily visible. And you definitely feel unwelcome. So this ‘public’ pool is pretty much totally dedicated to a commercial operation. And this is true to a large extent of the whole pool even the training lanes. (Isn’t it strange that a city the size of Dunedin has virtually the whole main pool set up as training lanes? Guess why?)

    I make sure my swim is finished before 9am when the schools come plus exercise classes, all of which are user pays. I have a disability and don’t want to be hit by a vigorous young swimmer in the lanes or jumped on by a child. I was told by a pool attendant to go to the physio pool. But I’m a ratepayer and pay for the Moana Pool. I made an Annual Plan submission on availability of pool space for older users and was told that they could aquajog in the dive pools. But the dive pools are too cold for slow exercise and I want the option of swimming and water exercising, which I can do only in the Leisure Pool but only in the brief 6am – 9am window on weekdays before it’s full of school classes or jumping kids. And there’s really only room enough here in deep water for a handful of adults. So ratepayers IMO do not get a good or even a fair deal as pool users. Yet they pay for it. Same thing is likely to happen at this proposed Mosgiel pool which again cost-wise seems overkill. A bit of whistle blowing needed here. I have discussed some of these issues with Moana Pool staff and some of them IMO are not happy with what goes on there.

    • Elizabeth

      We do know Otago Rugby swam for free at Moana for a number of years (DCC/Boys’ special under table deals), not sure what applies now.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    No sacrifice is too great for our Heroes of Rugby. Free swims? They should have been PAID for the glow of wonderfulness they contributed.

  10. Elizabeth

    OOOOOH, What? a calming of waters because of the Mayor Cull-led political agenda for SECRET MEETINGS ???

    Nah, brought to you from the GOBs-owned slimy Cull / Stedman propaganda treehouse —aka DCC Comms Buy-in Machine.

    BS Extraordinaire from The Rorter Boys’ Brigade !!!!!

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Councillors and Trust to Meet to Discuss Pool

    This item was published on 24 Feb 2015

    Dunedin City Councillors and the Taieri Communities Facilities Trust (TCFT) will hold a workshop on Tuesday, 3 March to discuss proposals to build a new pool in Mosgiel.

    Mayor Dave Cull says the workshop will be an opportunity for both Councillors and TCFT members to discuss the framework around which the decision-making process needs to be based. During Long Term Plan (LTP) discussions last month, the Council agreed to include information on two pool, three pool and four pool Mosgiel Pool options as unfunded options in the LTP consultation document for public feedback in March/April.

    “When Councillors come to consider a project like this it isn’t simply a question of yes or no based on cost or level of need. Any pool facility would be developed on a partnership basis between Council, the Trust and the community, so it is important that both sides develop and maintain a clear understanding of all the decision making and financial factors that might impact on us. The Council and DCC staff have put a lot of work in recent years into establishing a strategic framework. This is designed to, among other things, help guide Councillors so that decisions on individual projects aren’t made in isolation but are done in a consistent way.” —Cull

    The meeting will be an opportunity for senior DCC staff to explain more about the Spatial Plan, which is one of the components of the strategic framework. It will also provide a chance to discuss other key documents, such as the New Zealand Aquatic Facilities Development Guidelines, and how a new pool in Mosgiel could fit within that. DCC staff will also provide financial modelling implications for a range of possible options, ranging from refurbishing the existing pool to replacing it with either a two, three or four pool complex. Mr Cull says this will give both Councillors and TCFT members a much clearer picture of the potential options and implications.

    “My sincere hope is that it will also give Trust members and Councillors the opportunity to ask questions of staff and each other so that we can deepen our mutual understanding of the issues around the Mosgiel aquatic facilities proposal.” —Cull

    Trust Chair Michael Stedman says the Trust is delighted at the prospect of the workshop; it reflects the very best in Council and community engagement.

    “The community’s support for an aquatic facility to replace the 80 year old and wholly inadequate present pool is immense. The community has committed to funding 50% of a proposed four pool complex, one that serves the entire community, from 2 year olds to 92 year olds.” —Stedman

    The Trust’s report to the Council recommending a four pool centre was based on the information gathered from the 2500 people who completed the online survey and meetings with 80 group and organisations across the Taieri catchment. The Trust’s report also drew heavily on DCC reports and recommendations going back many years, all of which have seen the need for a new facility.

    “Over the past six months the Trust has developed an immensely valuable and productive relationship with Council staff; the workshop is another important step in forging a strong sense of partnership. The Taieri catchment of 30,000 residents is the fastest growing area in Dunedin city; both the Council and the community working together in a climate of partnership can build a strong future for this important and growing part of Dunedin city.” —Stedman

    Contact DCC on 4774000. DCC Link

    Prepare your slings and arrows, People. Heat the oil and tar. Gather feathers.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    Looks like a great “boondoggle” will take place. No-one will really know the outcome but somewhere along the line the pool project will slip into the budget process, the community funding will of course come up short, the ratepayers will bridge it as a contingency figure that will subtly become a permanent part of the budget and then we will start to hear of the cost overruns, but by then it will be too late to go back and then we will eventually see the opening ceremony with Mayor Cull in all his feathers and down, preening himself while the consolidated debt takes another great step backwards. We’ve seen it all before so we know how it works. Think Stadium.

  12. Rob Hamlin

    “The community’s support for an aquatic facility to replace the 80 year old and wholly inadequate present pool is immense. The community has committed to funding 50% of a proposed four pool complex…”

    “The community’s support is immense” – By what measure/evidence? “The community has committed to funding 50%….” When/how? Why, as a member of this community do I not have any personal recollection of immensely committing to funding 50% of this facility or of officially being told that I had?

    Perhaps I have John Banks’ disease? Yes, that’s right, I remember (sort of) now. I was sitting between Stedman and an immensely committed (or was that just an immense) German being helicoptered across the Taieri in a blizzard of 20-dollar notes when I personally became immensely committed to this thing. How could something like that have slipped my mind?

    • Elizabeth

      What to do to quell this pecuniary shabbiness, Rob.
      I bet Cull will shut down full discussion of this rort in the LTP public consultation rounds. We’re going to be done like a dog’s dinner.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      That’s the kind of “evidence” you might expect Don Driver to have come up with in Mad Men. “Nine out of ten gas-fitters prefer Pepsodent!” Square-jawed man in white coat declares, “Greenpacket Menthol cigarettes give you fresh breath, and the micro-fine filter tip removes harshness that can irritate the throat, with cheaper brands.” Mad Men was a damn good series.

      “The community’s support for an aquatic facility to replace the 80 year old and wholly inadequate present pool is immense. The community has committed to funding 50% of a proposed four pool complex…” – oh hang on, that’s supposed to be non-fiction, is it?

    • Diane Yeldon

      Does this mean the DCC plans to make a targeted rate on the people in the Mosgiel area ? If so, I wonder if they know that. The Ombudsmen advised me that although DCC ‘Working Parties’ and ‘Workshops’ don’t keep minutes, any ‘notes’ they keep are official information and so can be requested. So I will interested to learn what this Trust is negotiating for the people of Mosgiel. It appears that the DCC has delegated local consultation to the Trust and I question the legality of that.

      • Elizabeth

        Great points, Diane. If open government was truly in force at DCC, we wouldn’t be having this conversation or have any qualms about legality. And nor would private trusts be able to manipulate ratepayers and residents with highly suspect claims to grab the dollars as unsustainable debt against our names.

      • Jacob

        Diane Yeldon: The message of a targeted rate for the Mosgiel pool was given loud and clear during the last local body election campaign by Mr Lord. Who was overwhelmingly elected by the people of Mosgiel.
        It does appear that the people of Mosgiel are a peculiar lot, that thrive on self inflicted rate increases.

  13. Jacob

    To quote Mr Cull from the media release:
    “Any pool would be developed on a partnership basis between Council, the Trust and the community, so it is important that both sides develop and maintain a clear understanding.”
    If that is the case Mr Cull, how is the community to get a clear understanding, if they have not been invited to this meeting ? It looks like the community will be footing the bill twice. Once as the community has apparently committed to funding 50%, and twice through being a ratepayer and contributing through their rates.
    The Trust that is self-appointed do not represent the community, and have never held a public meeting with the community to ask what the community wants. They have only ever held a public meeting to tell the community what the Trust wants, and they expect the community to pay.
    Mr Cull, why are you putting this Trust in a privileged position of a secret meeting, and excluding the community from the meeting about the pool, that you state would be developed on a partnership basis including the community ?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Unelected, unrepresentative, no mandate from anyone except one another. Research carried out by examining their own (or one another’s – eeewww) navels.
      Trust? “TRUST”? Don’t make me laugh, I’ve got a cracked lip.

  14. Rob Hamlin

    “a partnership basis between Council, the Trust and the community, so it is important that both sides develop and maintain a clear understanding”

    There are three parties mentioned in the first half of this sentence, but the second half of the sentence says that “both” sides must develop and maintain a clear understanding (hereafter termed as ‘THE UNDERSTANDING’) – Both means two when I was at school. Somebody appears to have gone AWOL mid-sentence.

    I deduce that the wider community is the one party of the three that does not get to develop and maintain THE UNDERSTANDING – This given that the only party mentioned above that has not been invited to the semi-secret workshop is said wider community. I further deduce that the Mayor’s decision to exclude members of the third party identified above (the wider community) from even an observer role in this workshop indicates that he might well consider that avoiding a clear understanding of THE UNDERSTANDING from prematurely developing within the wider community is some kind of priority.

    This does not mean that the community does not form part of the ‘Pool Partnership’, far from it in fact. No third party understanding of two party UNDERSTANDING is necessary for the third party to pay the bills that flow from it – This post UNDERSTANDING activity has after all been the wider Dunedin community’s sole contribution to ‘policy development and various UNDERSTANDINGS throughout the last fifteen years.

    UNDERSTANDINGS are very handy. They are not contracts or even agreements, although liabilities stemming from do appear to be binding upon the wider community. The current government seems to be keen to offer retrospective legislative help if this involuntary liability is inconveniently and successfully legally challenged by any wider community which has acquired such a liability via an apparently unlawful UNDERSTANDING between two other parties.

    UNDERSTANDINGS therefore do not have to be committed to paper, they are therefore untraceable and fully deniable by all parties concerned when UNDERSTANDING related bills start to land on community doorsteps – That is unless somebody who is party to one is ill advised enough to commit elements of them to paper or electronic media such as E-mails. Finally UNDERSTANDINGS are even more alive than living documents. Like lice they thrive in the dark places with a ready source of third-party sustenance. Unfortunately they can grow, multiply and evolve rapidly under such conditions to the point where the third party host may become seriously debilitated.

    Inconveniently, UNDERSTANDINGS that are clearly understood by a diverse group are highly vulnerable to leaks if certain individuals who may be unavoidably party to them not only develop a good understanding of the UNDERSTANDING, but a strong dislike of it. I will be intrigued to see if Cr Vandervis’ problems morph into a specific exclusion from this critical part of this particular UNDERSTANDING development process.

  15. Elizabeth

    Arise the nPPP at DCC, non-Public Private Partnership.

  16. Elizabeth

    Further to Rob’s understanding of THE UNDERSTANDING (above), today’s media comment arising from the DCC media release seems even more profoundly of the order of two parties, third resoundingly defeated/destroyed ($$$$$$$$ eight figures).

    The problem Michael Stedman has is he thinks or is prepared to lie that his private trust, the Taieri
    Community Facilities Trust, has consulted the chequebooks of the community. They have not. Want, need, promissory is NOT cold hard cash upfront for capital build and operationals – especially, given TCFT’s report substantially underestimates costs for the proposed ‘Taieri Aquatic Centre’. We, the community, have not been consulted in any meaningful way at all – the Dunedin City Council appears hell-bent on thieving millions of dollars (again) from our private pockets to suit Mr Cull’s (currently, rickety and obtuse) mayoral campaign.

    “The community has committed to funding 50% of a proposed four-pool complex, one that serves the entire community, from 2-year-olds to 92-year-olds.” –[LIES LIES LIES] Stedman

    ### ODT Online Thu, 26 Feb 2015
    Pool meeting ahead of vote
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin City councillors are meeting the trust pushing for a pool in Mosgiel next week ahead of a crucial vote later this year on whether the city will fund the project. Mayor Dave Cull said the workshop would be an opportunity for both councillors and Taieri Communities Facilities Trust (TCFT) members to discuss what factors needed to be taken account when a decision was made on the pool.
    Read more

    • For Dave Cull to bear in mind. Two salient factors – the level of council debt and the time it will take to eliminate it. That should concentrate their minds. Fat chance on either count – they don’t do concentration – and erm – what minds?

  17. Elizabeth

    Regurgitated, nothing new here.
    Primary source: DCC media release 24.2.15

    ### ODT Online Sun, 1 Mar 2015
    Workshop to discuss Mosgiel pool options
    Source: The Star
    Dunedin City Councillors and the Taieri Communities Facilities Trust (TCFT) will hold a workshop on Tuesday to discuss proposals to build a new pool in Mosgiel. Mayor Dave Cull said the workshop, on March 3, would be an opportunity to discuss the framework around which the decision-making process needs to be based.
    During Long Term Plan (LTP) discussions last month, the council agreed to include information on two-pool, three-pool and four-pool Mosgiel Pool options as unfunded options in the LTP consultation document for public feedback in March and April.
    Read more

  18. Lyndon Weggery

    Any new Mosgiel Pool and a South Dunedin Library can remain in the “unfunded category” of the LTP as far as I am concerned for the next 10 years. The reality is that the days of excessive spending are over and we need to reduce our debt as quickly as we can whilst still maintaining essential services. As I have said before we honour the promise to keep rates increases to no more than 3% and work back from there in the setting of the final budget. Dunedin has an ageing population with more and more slowly sliding into fixed incomes as their retirement age grows longer with every passing year. Do we really want to become like Christchurch with its 8% increase in rates per annum for the next three years? I know their problems are related to the earthquake and insurance payout hassles but the potential lessons for us are clear.

  19. Elizabeth

    Less obvious, Lyndon, is why you support a 3% rates increase when New Zealand is enjoying 1% inflation.

    In his comments at What if?, Mike has pointed out the continuous drain on ratepayers due to ongoing rates increases – if you support this pattern I wonder about your understanding of the economy and why you’re supporting Dave Cull’s council against the ratepayers.

  20. Lyndon Weggery

    The only reason I am “accepting” a 3% increase is because after much lobbying by myself and others (including the former Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association) the DCC actually put this figure as a target/goal in their long-term financial strategy and I am trying to hold Dave Cull to this commitment. It is a good start but like others would wish the DCC to get it down to the present rate of inflation. Significantly Sue Bidrose has instructed her staff to limit (as draft recommendations) no more than 3% in the 2015/16 service charges that will come at the back of the Draft LTP. As I said this is a good start but certainly the DCC needs to do better for us ratepayers in the long term.

  21. Elizabeth

    Lyndon, strongly hope you, as an individual, will change tack for this next round of LTP consultation. Your 3% has turned out to be a false economy!

  22. Rob Hamlin

    I notice that one penalty Lee Vandervis can have inflicted upon him is exclusion from committees. I would predict that this penalty might be a likely outcome, however, as he sits on virtually none of the official ones, the definition of ‘committee’ might have to be stretched to include all other meetings to which Councillors are invited (as democratically elected representatives) that he is not absolutely legally entitled to attend.

    This presumably will include secret public-excluded ‘workshops’, such as the recent one that was exposed by E-mail leaks, to which all Councillors were invited and private and unrecorded UNDERSTANDINGS were reportedly developed between councillors, council officers and interested third parties (see previous post).

    Free from oversight mechanisms, or any requirement to formally record and disseminate proceedings or outcomes, such meetings may without restraint develop UNDERSTANDINGS on such interesting issues as where the Mosgiel Pool will finally be built (on a greenfield site out towards Wingatui maybe?), what it will eventually look like (like a high performance swimming training facility maybe?), and who its primary beneficiaries (real estate speculators and high performance swimming maybe – Oh surely not!), and victims (pretty much everybody else in the community, but particularly the old and poor – Never!) will be. In such situations the only protection the public has from the UNDERSTANDINGS that might be generated is the integrity of the elected participants who are party to them.

    It may be that exclusion from activities of this type will be the immediate and permanent outcome of any anti-Vandervis disciplinary proceedings that may occur – whether or not Vandervis is actually present at them. The latest accusation manifestation appears to be a claim that he has deliberately misled council – which is a direct attack on his integrity. Clearly, given the argument above, only one response to a ‘guilty verdict’ would make sense. Rascals of that type, who do such terrible things to our other honest councillors, must be excluded from secret ‘committee meetings’ (workshops) at which secret UNDERSTANDINGS (that will of course be entirely for the happily ignorant community’s benefit) might be developed between said honest councillors and other wise and respected members of the community!

    It may be that exclusion specifically against Vandervis will be immediately and vigorously enforced by one well-known individual. If that occurs, and the proceedings upon which this sanction is based eventually fall short of any kind of requirements for natural justice, then Vandervis’ best course of action may be to attempt to gain entry to one as an elected representative of the same type as those who have entry permitted to them, and then (having had it denied) seek a High Court injunction with regard to restraining said individual and their agents with regard to said behaviour.

    {Link added. -Eds}

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