Cumulative DCC rates rise; council boffins continue ruse of ‘found savings’

At Facebook:

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The council had engaged with the public well, and arrived at a figure under the 3% limit. It was pleasing to keep faith with the community, and keep that promise. –Mayor Cull

### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
2.99% Dunedin rates rise
By David Loughrey
Despite an extra $100,000 of spending approved this week, the Dunedin City Council scraped in under its self-imposed 3% target for rates rises for the next financial year. The council approved a budget that will see ratepayers asked for an extra 2.99% for 2017-18. Annual plan deliberations ended yesterday, after councillors spent a day and a-half discussing spending for the year ahead. The only major changes affecting ratepayers were an extra $100,000 approved for two projects, changes that came after staff found a further $100,000 in savings. […] Mr Cull said some people had reservations about the annual plan process, which featured feedback meetings rather than formal submissions this year, before full submissions are brought back for the long-term plan next year.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC approves $1m for artificial turf
By David Loughrey
Dunedin is set to get two artificial turf sports fields at Logan Park late this year or early next, after a proposal set to cost the city $1 million won unanimous approval yesterday. The move has delighted Football South, which had asked for the money to be provided urgently to attract available funding from Fifa. The Dunedin City Council annual plan deliberations meeting supported the proposal despite concerns from Cr Aaron Hawkins there had been no official public submissions this year, and others had been discouraged from suggesting new projects until next year’s long-term plan.
Read more

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We’re not interested in (thank god) ex Cr Jinty MacTavish’s or the Green Party’s vision (what vision). DCC’s job IS to look after the environment together with infrastructure service provision. No further strategy is needed. Note the contradictions and hypocrisy contained in this item (italics by whatifdunedin):

The council moved the decision to give the strategy $200,000 to continue work towards making Dunedin a zero carbon, healthy environment.

### ODT Online Tue, 16 May 2017
Funding set for strategy
By Margot Taylor
The environment, bus governance and pool admission fees dominated discussions at the first day of Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings yesterday. The absence of public submissions was a notable difference at the hearing. The public had a chance to voice their opinions on the 2017-18 draft annual plan at public forums and drop-in sessions from March 30 to May 1, rather than at annual plan hearings as in previous years. Dunedin’s environment strategy received 26 comments during the consultation. Mayor Dave Cull said the comments provided “a pretty clear response” about funding for the initiative.
Read more

CUMULATIVE RATES INCREASES –
NO FAITH IS KEPT AT ALL EXCEPT THAT MAYOR CULL HAS TO GO

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “Cumulative DCC rates rise; council boffins continue ruse of ‘found savings’

  1. Elizabeth

    DCC Environment Strategy LOL…………….

    ODT 17.5.17 (page 12)

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    DCC “found money” source revealed – patrolling student ghetto and retrieving coins that were down the back of incinerated sofas.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Priorities innit: “The environment, bus governance and pool admission fees dominated talk at the first day of DCC annual plan hearings.”
    “Anyone want to say anything about, ahh [consults My Little Pony notebook] drains and debt? Vandervis, sit down and shut up.”
    Adjourned for tea break.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Debt, once it reaches a permanent figure as high as $600million, it fades into the background and life goes on. $1million for soccer is just a bagatelle as is the costs of doing business in China. Mayor Dave Cull has no concept of it, nor has council it seems. One day it’ll bite them all in the bum and they’ll all shout out loud that the drains need fixing as indeed do Delta/Aurora and with this debt we don’t have any money, but what say we all have a great ‘swim in’ at the Mosgiel Aquatic Centre while we all consider what it is we’re going to do, and what train out of town to catch. Looks like Tarras might be a good place .

    • I was at first horrified at more money for sport but once they talked through the deal, they seemed to get $3 million worth of value in a community asset in return for $1 million outlay. And it’s proposed that the all-weather grounds will be available to a wide section of the community, including kids. University comes rushing in at the last minute, claiming an interest in Logan Park. And, of course, as usual, this is a funding opportunity from outside sources and the clock is ticking. So, DCC, make up your mind fast or you will miss out. A bit like me wanting to buy a big stack of chickens on special to put in the freezer but wondering if I can afford the outlay. Whereas the DCC always has the outlay because they can borrow. And these ‘too good to refuse’ bargains keep coming up. And then if one sporting group gets something, it seems only fair that another does too. And so it goes on.
      I think the problem is with worldwide debt and increasing costs relating to natural resources, cost of living goes up. But nobody and no groups want to change their standard of living and their usual way of life. ‘Kicking a ball round’ seems an innocent pleasure but I am always aware of the many people in NZ who struggle to get a home, enough food and be warm. The ones who have the time and resources to play sport are relatively well off but they are the ones who tend to get the benefit of money from the council. You will never see the Night Shelter or the SD Community hub funded to anything like $1 million.

      • Elizabeth

        Diane – the (permanent) South Dunedin hub involves DCC buying a building (already budgeted in the LTP) and the costs of bringing that structure up to code, plus all operational costs – hopefully with a commercial lease within such as a café…. personally, I’d die for a fresh soup and bread house at South Dunedin (we need something that healthy and nutritious in Central Dunedin too, hearty sick of all the crap flavour-lacking lunching food served by local cafés at stupidly inflated prices! Coffees equally stupidly priced for not much liquid, via half-baked baristas in many cases) – with a simply styled commercial kitchen to train young job seekers… with low-moderately priced fare to the local community and visitors.

        Sport attracts people from all walks of life and all ages so I disagree that it’s ‘for the better off’ …when was the last time you observed a young development team for football or hockey, or any other code.

  5. One thing I found interesting at this meeting (Annual Plan Deliberations) which extended over two days, was the Council’s response to a person, presumably female, who had written in saying they wanted recognition of the right to breastfeed a baby in public. Council decided it was a ‘family friendly’ council and, although women apparently already do have a legal right to breastfed in public … actually, I should rephrase that.. it’s never been made against the law ….(!), the DCC might put out a public statement about their ‘family friendliness’ including support for hungry babies to be dealt with on the spot. So I think they will consult with La Leche, the experts on the issue. How things have changed! I remember, many decades ago, feeling obliged to scuttle off to a public toilet to feed my baby. And taking the baby to a chess club and trying to feed the bay while playing totally put my male opponent off his game, so much that he insisted on adjourning!
    All the same, I hope modesty prevails. It’s possible to feed a baby extremely discretely. The thought of Dunedin becoming involved in ‘culture wars’ over this with, so many international visitors and students here, is somewhat mind-boggling.

  6. Rob Hamlin

    Interesting quote from the ODT today in their article on the new CEO for Delta:

    “Delta, which up until now had the same chief executive and board, was contracted to mange the network for Aurora.”

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/delta-appoints-new-ceo for Aurora

    Mange the network for Aurora eh? Well they’ve done that proper haven’t they? – Aurora’s network couldn’t be much mangier at the present moment! Needs an Aurora funded performance bonus I’d say.

  7. I’m really interested in public transport (and I use it) so another topic at at this meeting I found really interesting was the move of the DCC to ask the Regional Council to have a joint poll on which authority, ORC or DCC, Dunedin people thought should run the city public transport service. He said something to the effect that, even though DCC didn’t presently run it, they still continually got the blame for it.
    One councillor said he didn’t think a poll was the best way to decide who should run a bus company because you really need to have quite a bit of background knowledge.

    In response, Mayor Cull said DCC consults on all sorts of complex issues and people probably don’t have much background knowledge on those either. Not sure of the logic of such an argument – it’s more of an argument for not consulting at all!

    I can see a problem though if we did have a poll about who would run the buses. If one poll, why not another? And another … Since whoever gets the responsibility, is bound to get the blame, as public transport, with the limited funding available, is never going to please everyone. So wouldn’t the responsibility be continually transferred backwards and forward between DCC and ORC the two authorities resulting in total chaos?

    In the agenda for the Otago Regional Council meeting today (17 March 2017) was a report on a joint public transport initiative in Wakatipu which looks like a successful model which might work for Dunedin.
    https://goo.gl/ccGIEO
    (shortened link)

    PART C – RECOMMENDATIONS
    Item 3 22-95
    2017/0 794 Regional Public Transport Plan Otago 2014 – Draft addendum for Wakatipu Basin – March 2017 DCS, 09/05/17
    http://www.orc.govt.nz/PageFiles/1404/May%202017/Combined%20Council%20agenda%20-%2017%20May%202017.pdf

    {Previously, DCC strongly proved it couldn’t run buses at a profit. Nothing at all has changed. Public transport is a LIABILITY. -Eds}

    • More or less agree, but was DCC running buses or owning a bus company? There’s a difference.

      • Elizabeth

        Suggest you research the Dunedin City Corporation history.

        • Right, did that: “Dunedin’s largest bus company, Citibus grew from the city’s municipal public transport department, DCT, which operated electric trams, cable cars, trolleybuses and diesel buses. It was taken over in 2011 by Invercargill Passenger Transport which in turn became part of Go Bus Transport. About this time, the regional council ceased using its brand Gobus to avoid confusion with the newly arrived company Go Bus.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport_in_Dunedin

          Obviously, I shouldn’t believe everything I hear at DCC meetings!

        • Elizabeth

          Great. Yes D.C.C. has an amazing history in public transportation through the rough and tumble of changing technology and modes of travel.

          Listening to staff and councillors is often a grave and disabling error -_-

      • Anonymous

        When researching Dunedin’s bus history, it is essential to include Newton’s Coachways in the list of readings.

  8. Oops, the ‘he’ who said DCC got the blame anyway was the mayor.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    The thorny question of who should run the public transport system is best left where it is, with the ORC. For years the DCC tried manfully to run an efficient system but failed. The last councillor to lead this was Cr Jean McLean and she really put her heart and sole into the task. Failed, admitted so, saying she didn’t believe that it was possible. Then due I think to Central Government, public transport was rationalised throughout the country and given to the regional councils, hence the position today. The best place for it as well. They can’t run it either but at least they have the joy of cash flow from Port Otago which can seem to fund many magics. Let them keep it, don’t whatever let Dave Cull or the rest of the nutters in the DCC get a hold of it. It would be worse than the Stadium and Conference Center as loss leaders. God knows we have enough between Delta/Aurora and their misdeeds to contend with.

    • Elizabeth

      Fully support your view on this Calvin. The naive politicos at DCC are dumb enough not to take History into account.

    • Pensioner

      I well remember Jean McLean and councillors being taken for a ride in the new Japanese diesel bus, after they had dumped the trolley buses. The new buses couldn’t get up Stuart street, and councillors had to get out and walk. Since council dropped the trolley buses, and sold the city owned electricity station that powered the buses, the Dunedin City Council has slowly slipped backwards to what we have today. A mixture of failed business optimists, and those who are not fit for employment in the real world.

    • JimmyJones

      I agree, Calvin. The ORC and the DCC are both bunches of incompetent fools that can’t be trusted to run anything. Given the choice, the ORC has shown more discipline in its general behaviour and so is more likely to stick to the standard bus subsidy rate (50%, I think). Also, the DCC is infested with various very stupid and harmful political/ideological agendas which could lead to compromises in the way it runs a bus service. The DCC wants control of the buses because the wishes of the ORC are likely to interfere with their central city transport planning. For instance, the ORC opposes the DCC’s destruction of the One-way System. The ORC is also infested with various very stupid and harmful political/ideological agendas, but it has less scope to implement them. The ORC should run the buses.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Pensioner, you’re so right.
        It was a glaring example of fixing something that wasn’t broken, getting rid of the quiet non-stinky trolley buses in favour of diesels.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        ORC doesn’t seem to suffer from hordes of glistening eye’d zealots proclaiming “We need to get people out of cars!” DCC is dead keen on more people using buses but with zealots in charge no bookie would offer odds on their NOT cocking up the bus service, because they know all too well what’s “good for us” and don’t give a damn about what we want, nor even what we need.
        Walking and cycling are good for us, so there’s no need for bus stops to be located close to where people want to come from, or go to. A lovely cycle ride, a brisk walk to the place they choose isn’t sabotaging the service, it’s For Our Own Good. If in doubt see arguments for the Great Hub and compare with bus users’ points of view.

  10. Yes, wondering how the DCC could do their regular consultation processes better. I keep forgetting that I want to ask them to have a stand-alone pedestrian strategy, which has a ring-fenced budget because I think pedestrian interests always get left out of an ‘integrated transport strategy’ (which is what they have now). But I keep forgetting …and another year goes by.
    Next year is the consultation for the Long TermI Plan which is supposed to set the direction over the next ten years.
    Now I wonder if DCC would agree to a web page which posted something like a ‘register of expressions of interest in contributing to future DCC plans’ (Annual and Long Term). So people, when they think of it, over the coming year, could just comment something: “I wish you would do something to improve safety for pedestrians.” And make these comments public so anyone else reading them would get ideas of the sort of thing they wanted to support. Some people really value their privacy and wouldn’t want to make their name and contact details public. But if they were willing to give them to the DCC privately, then maybe the DCC could send them a reminder when submissions formally open. Sure, this is all web-based and not everyone has a computer. But it would encourage word-of-mouth publicity of the process. And, even if you are familiar with the process, it’s easy to miss the deadline.
    Regarding this year, my understanding is that the law has been changed (2014 Amendment to Local Government Act) so they don’t have to do a formal Annual Plan process if the Long Term Plan has not been materially changed. And I suppose that avoids unnecessary expense.

  11. Looking at this page of the DCC website: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/contact-us
    They have a ‘complaints’ form. And also a ‘feedback’ form.
    And a ‘compliments’ form.
    Because of above thought, of locals providing input to DCC informally and at anytime, I am now suggesting to them that they have a ‘suggestion box’.
    There’s something rather oddly self-referential about suggesting a suggestion box…..
    Which brings to mind a comment from the mayor (who, according to Parliamentary Services Protocol, I can quite properly address as “Mr Mayor” and not ‘Your ….etc etc..’ See: https://goo.gl/4Kksed)
    Mr Mayor said (more or less – am not quoting) he wasn’t going to take any notice of any ‘non-submitters’/ ‘non-feedback providers’ who didn’t have the BALLS to front up.
    Hmm, suitable decorum for a public meeting?

    • Elizabeth

      Diane, it’s too easy for DCC officials to hide behind the gaffs of online (social media if you like) exchange. An email or a letter addressed to the CEO is still the proper way to formally do business or make complaints.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Decorum or not, it’s a risky expression for that particular individual to blurt, inviting responses* along the lines of pot vs kettle and appropriate conduct of people who live in glass houses.

      *From well informed people with good memories and access to evidence dating back several years, quoting instance after instance to back up their statements.

    • Gurglars

      I imagine this cuts you out Diane.

      The unkindest cut.

  12. There were days long ago (not here) when I used to take a letter into the Council Service Centre and wait and watch while staff date-stamped it as received.
    But you are absolutely right – if the first few approaches don’t work, follow up with a letter to the Chief Executive.

    I wasn’t sure about the status of email so looked this up:
    http://www.howtolaw.co/electronic-transaction-act-2002-392290
    The Electronic Transactions Act 2002
    It seems to be an ‘opt in’ approach. That is, you can choose to use emails for all kinds of official purposes and they still count just as much as letters. But it’s optional.

    • Elizabeth

      A little obsessive Diane.
      Dial back possible explanations for everything – just use legal email to CEO if you have due cause. No mystery. None of us have time to waste being to the letter as ’twere.

    • JimmyJones

      The DCC CEO is good at responding to emails.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Does your email program provide a “received” option? Check your settings, some do.

  14. JimmyJones

    The DCC chose to not do the normal consultation for the Annual Plan (Special Consultation Procedure). The justification for this was the claim that the Annual Plan was not significantly different to the Long Term Plan. It seems to me that there are significant differences, which means that they were legally obliged to do a proper consultation.

    Things that have changed are:
    ● revenue is down and costs are up resulting in a $11.5 million shortfall compared to the LTP (because the LTP forecasts are wrong)
    ● this shortfall has required a cut in capital expenditure of $10.4 million
    ● the DCC’s debt was to be decreased by $3.2 million, but now the debt will increase slightly.
    ● some new capital projects

    These all seem significant to me.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Significant, yes, Jimmy but not to bother we just run it our way and yes it’s much better this way. You say there is now an increase in the debt as opposed to a reduction in the LTP. What does that matter, when the debt is a bit of a guess anyway as is the claimed reductions. As I maintain, once it reached the levels it has of around $600million, then up $10 or $11milllion means nothing, as does $1million for artificial turf or $20 or $25million for a non essential swimming complex. It’s all just money, just like the $gazillions that have been popped into the housing market. When the government blithely talks about providing houses for the workers, and that they won’t cost more than $650,000 each!. There is a giant brain fade on these days when it comes to money levels and interest rates, sadly I believe it will all come to a screaming halt one day soon and the people will be left with no money, no house , nothing at all. Impossible we think, tell that to our late grand parents, and their figures were nothing like those today.
    The people in office today have no concept of frugal spending, and unfortunately they are the community leaders, mayor and councillors and bureaucrats.

  16. Elizabeth

    “But we [DCC] also want to improve the city, and that takes investment and spending. That means you’re inclined to take on more debt at a time you’re trying to reduce debt.” –Mayor Cull

    Mon, 26 Jun 2017
    ODT: Rates rise of 2.99% likely to get tick
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin ratepayers should have a 2.99% rates increase confirmed tomorrow, but the city faces complex major issues at the next long-term plan (LTP) round next year, Mayor Dave Cull says. A full meeting of the Dunedin City Council is expected to set the rates for the next financial year. The increase this year scraped in under the council’s self-imposed 3% target for rates rises. That was despite an extra $100,000 of spending approved last month, when the council’s environment strategy received an additional $50,000 to reduce carbon emissions and enhance Dunedin’s environment, as did a study into a district heating scheme for the city. Cont/

    [On the serious bullshit meter]

    Issues such as dealing with the future of South Dunedin in the face of rising sea levels was “absolutely” something that needed to be considered when it came to budgets, [Mayor Cull] said.

  17. Tom

    I see that mummy’s little darlings are being well looked after in the Annual plan.
    “P 19. Transportation. Street cleaning.
    An additional $100,000 has been added to the street cleaning budget to enable cleaning of glass from the street in the North Dunedin Campus area.”

    No other section of our community would be allowed to have such behavioural issues that would require a ratepayer subsidy of $100,000 to clean up after a piss up. Why is this behaviour tolerated, and ratepayer funded in the North Dunedin Campus area ?

  18. nick

    No mention in today’s ODT reported comments from Mayor Cull about Long Term Plan spending on a very minor matter of the $1 billion needed for Aurora’s asset ‘renewal’ program.

    Remember Mr Cull, Aurora is a DCC owned company that is in an even deeper hole than Todd Barclay.

    Just a small oversight perhaps?

    Or perhaps if no contingency responsibility for Aurora’s mess is to be taken by DCC, then another model of ownership is being considered?

    One where Aurora is getting value for money from lines contractors.
    One where directors are accountable to their network’s consumers.
    One where management is responsive, efficient and competent.
    Probably too much to ask.

    Then again, why not some more innovative thinking? (Along the lines of helping the ORFU out for however many millions?)

    Why not get Aurora (through its ‘preferred contractor’ Delta) to build the bridge to the Chinese Gardens and construct all the cycleways around Dunedin? String up a few token power lines along these routes, create access easements in favour of Aurora for all this work, and place the bill squarely at the feet of the ratepayers via the network charges in their power bills.

    No rates increases this way. Who would notice?

    • Elizabeth

      Today by phone, CD mentioned the cost of the pole replacement programme – running at roughly 70 poles per week – that’s something like $500,000 to $600,000 each week.

      Where is this money coming from, Aurora ???

      Richard Healey and colleagues probably have a closer idea of the average weekly cost given the “teams” involved from Timbuktu.

      Although, haplessly…. reports abound of new below-standard ‘jury rig’ fixes for the lines across Otago; that will last “5 minutes” before they too need Proper Upgrades (at still greater cost)…. to meet ComCom demands of ‘the industry’.

      The Aurora Board is unlikely to be out in the field overseeing what throwing good money after bad really looks like. [Grady’s head is buried in a sandpit somewhere until his formal exit at Christmas.]

      Meanwhile Cull turns into the “Great Poobah of Otago” – the short man problem that mushrooms by incisive inaction.

      After all, if he doesn’t provide leadership or recognise a coarsely-grained financial and infrastructural meltdown, then it just isn’t happening, people! ….In the same way you vow to make the stadium W O R K by throwing cash at it. Notwithstanding you invest more heavily in trips to China and a wee bit (millions of dollars worth) of ugly petrochemical tarseal for cycleway connections and extensions including insensitive harbour reclamations to satisfy the (haha ‘green’) Spokes brigade – at the same time you join with ORC in making bussing an unforgettably Bad and Third World experience for an aging and fragile population left without route cover or actual bus shelters in the inner city. “It’s all OK …when you drive a brand new Santa Fe.” Except when it crashes.

      • ROTFL. Particularly about the head buried in the sandpit….. But actually describes a very serious situation and Mayor Cull’s complete denial of it. (Or possibly complete lack of understanding of it). Cities don’t become bankrupt or otherwise unaffordable for the average person to live in overnight. It takes decades of financial mismanagement to ‘achieve’ that outcome. Just the two major infrastructure issues alone (drains and power poles) should be enough of a wake-up call. But, no, business as usual.

        (Am about to ‘front up’ to a council meeting again, despite my apparent deficiencies, as pointed out by Gurglars in response to the Mayor’s inelegant and sexist expression.)

  19. Gurglars

    DMVL expected contributions Year end 2018- nil, 2019- nil, 2020- nil.

    This is an area of sustainability I would like the DCC to invest in and alarmingly in year end 2019 they expect nil profit.

    How will they pay the supposed $2 million in rent?

    They will borrow it.

  20. Gurglars

    Dunedin Stadium Property Limited has an objective of reducing overall stadium debt. It plans to lose over the next three years more than $3,000,000 per annum. Can any accountant advise me how to reduce debt by making a loss?

  21. Calvin Oaten

    Yes Gurglars, you just ignore the details, pray, pray again and have the engine ticking over of the Santa Fe at the door.
    If in the unlikely event the Stadium needs money to pay the $2million rent then you simply get it from the same place you got the previous lot when it was $4million. In other words the RATEPAYERS.
    The fact that Aurora paid via SUBVENTION figures the annual sum of $8million plus is just coincidental really so ignore that. Probably Ed Sheerer …or whatever will produce it. But for the next 25 or 30 years who knows, as long as the panel which judges the ‘Greatest Little Cities in the World’ don’t know about it then all’s fine, and by then I’ll be off to Tarras, retired, with my title. Not too bad for Bob the Builder.

  22. Elizabeth

    {Moderated to avoid potential for legal action against this website – not for debate. Relocated from another thread. Relevance. -Eds}

    Diane Yeldon
    June 27, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I could find no fault whatsoever with Cr Staynes’ chairmanship. This is the first time I have ever seen a DCC meeting with a lot of financial stuff where Cr Vandervis was allowed to ask his searching financial questions and get full answers without being told off and made to shut up.

    For example, the question of whether it was worth spending $720 million (replacing power poles) on a company which might later be sold. And whether you would get the money back if you did sell.

    When Mr Mayor is there, such financial questions are always curtailed, on such grounds as, ‘This is the council financial planning – the companies are separate.” Or “The paper in front of you refers to the financial position up to this cut-off date only. Stick to the topic.” Or “We’ll be discussing that matter later.” Or “You’ve already had an answer to that.” (Yes, but maybe sometimes in a private councillors-only workshop so the public haven’t.)

    And such stringency in sticking to the topic is not so much upheld when other councillors speak. For example, when a councillor was speaking to the hospital siting issue, they spoke nearly as much about the courthouse, which was entirely off-topic, but never got the slightest rebuke for it.

    I am like the rabbits in Watership Down (the movie): to me, all numbers after about four are just ‘big’. But I cannot understand how anybody can get a realistic idea of the DCC’s financial position with these repeated ‘snapshot’, partial, restricted and limited views. It’s like looking at a series of still photos of a live snake. You are never going to see the wiggle. And often, it seems to me, the accounting method changes between ‘shots’. So you get very odd lack of continuity which, if noticed and remarked on – generally solely by Cr Vandervis – always seem to get explained away by something like, “Well, we put that in a different category. If you look on page blah, you will see it there.” Or very odd things like references to a dividend. Which further on, turns out to be at a value of zero … and then Cr Vandervis is asking whether there actually IS a dividend…

    I admit I don’t understand it but I wonder how many of the councillors do. Maybe they should all sit a short exam on the DCC’s financial position from time to time so the people who they represent can find out.

    Yes, a pity we don’t have a ‘Speaker of the House’. It’s my opinion that Mr Mayor uses his powers as chair to tightly control the debate and to lead to the outcomes that he personally wants. A rule of thumb is to look at a meeting video and see how much the chair speaks. IMO a good chair should be speaking very little. Their duty of impartiality as chair should clearly take precedence over their own personal rights to participate in the meeting. So, once again, well done, Cr Staynes!

  23. Gurglars

    To ameliorate your future rate losses I have an offer!

    Elizabeth. I have a cheap Dunedin-Auckland ticket 24th July leaving at 6.45 am for $89 including one checked bag.

    Please advise any contact details if you can utilise this ticket.
    There is a stop in Wellington if you want to call in on friends.

    {Email website address [with no gap] ejkerr @ihug.co.nz – to have your contact details passed on to Gurglars. This is a one-off, What if? Dunedin is not a mail service. -Eds}

  24. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    Of course he’d consider a rates rise.
    Think about it. If their alt.titties are forced to catch up on core business, not having saved any of the money we paid them to DO that core maintenance etc, what’s left to supply nice-to-haves? Us. Ratepayers plus building permit obtainers, and, buskers, and dog registerers and garbage disposers and library users who take books back late, and people who park at meters instead of Rapacious Wilsons’ (i.e. DCC i.e. “us” owned parking places the DCC is too lame to administer themselves, though Wilsons seem to make a profit in the business).

    • Elizabeth

      Cr Vandervis did ask today why commercial ratepayers are being so heavily targeted by DCC, compared to residential ratepayers.

      *this to pay for the stadium….

  26. Elizabeth

    Most deadwood councillors at the full Council today remained silent when asked for questions or to debate the Annual Plan 2017/18 before adoption – The Annual Plan that takes no account AT ALL of the [$720million] cotcase that is Aurora and the DCC lack of spending on water and drainage infrastructure [also note the $10million underspend].

    Only Cr Lee Vandervis was making educated comment through questions of staff. And educated it was. Cr Vandervis consistently examines figures and the levels of council debt in light of consolidated (group) debt –

    What a strange man !!!! How rare.

    ****

    Pass the sick bag.
    All meeting, Cr Christine Garey trolloped on about thanking staff. There is absolutely No Need – that can happen elsewhere at other times, out of sight preferably. It’s like a patronising pat on the head by the school marm.

    We expect very comfortable highly paid near-tenured staff to work hard and well. Without being arrogant or offensive about that expectation.

    It seems councillors are doing little themselves to represent constituents if they’ve got time to waste (thanking staff) at their Council meetings and not publicly detailing how that representation is going and to what effect on a monthly basis ie reports from councillors not groomed by staff, just for a change. How radical that thought is.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Just watched the video covering David Loughrey interviewing Dave Cull. The acting and body language is in itself a giveaway. Dave Cull obviously does not have a clue about the underlying problem of this city, or, if he does he conceals it well. The result is a cacophany of words, words and words, all saying bugger all. No mention of the extreme problems of Delta/Aurora with their huge financial problems. It is as if they don’t exist, not to mention the effect on the city’s ability to keep the Stadium afloat without it bankrupting the city. He is in effect out to lunch on the subject of finance altogether. Although he did make mention of the fact that it was probably not a good move to commit to and complete all three, the Stadium, the Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment, and the Otago Settlers Museum with the huge debts surrounding them. No solutions of course just theatrics. He controls a lacklustre council with a manner unbefitting of what the city requires at present. Not a good immediate future for the ratepayers I’m afraid.

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