Tag Archives: Fiscal prudence

DCC DRAFT Annual Plan 2016/17 —Harden up, Council

Dunedin City Council (creak, groan), still holds to notions of silly spend-ups —on Minor yet Very Costly items of…. faint if any benefit to the widest scope of Dunedin ratepayers and residents. It’s ELECTION YEAR. Overtly muddled thinking given to ‘pet projects’ and ‘bribes’ (vote chasing) is sorry Self-aggrandising Rubbish on the part of the local body politicians we’re stuck with until this October.

Some people can make a success of themselves living in Dunedin, some in the innovation sector are uniquely placed with developing capacity to export out; but these shining lights and bushells are frequently seen against a Dumb, overly Bureaucratic, In-fighting city council located within a generally stale and stalled non-productive urban economy. Dunedin is achieving only about half the growth of the rest of New Zealand.

This week, Councillors are deliberating to ‘stiff’ ratepayers and residents with the promoted…. steeply unattractive rates increase (supposedly) capped at 3%.

But shifting sands again at Council (what it’s only good for, in a bad way!) —the most inexperienced/unproductive/unbusinesslike gormless Councillors of green persuasion, together with the mayoral candidates and their aspiring pearl- or scarf-wearing deputies are in the Ugly mood to consider yet more unprincipled spending to take us beyond the 3% cap, if MSM news reporting of tendency is acurate (I’m sure it is).

Council staff are not emerging cleanly from this leaky-budget process either —since elected representatives tend to piggyback if they can, staff-driven shiny pet projects even when within very close sniffing distance of the highly questionable event of systemic DCC failure with core infrastructure services, monstrously demonstrated in June 2015.

The lack of brain power to analyse and offer principled leadership of the City of Dunedin is daily astounding. Not something practically-minded, fiscally prudent citizens should tolerate or support any longer.

If Shadbolt wants to come here as Mayor, by all means Jump In.

2.9% rates increase council consulted on now pushing to 3.5% – breaching council’s self-imposed limit of 3% – unless cuts made.

MacTavish sees rates increase at slightly higher than 3%, as squeezing staff resources becomes “detrimental” to the community.

### ODT Online Wed, 11 May 2016
Rates limit agreed – for now
By Vaughan Elder and Timothy Brown
A rates increase of more than 3% remains a possibility, despite Dunedin City councillors agreeing to stick within the council’s self-imposed limit. Councillors were faced with difficult decisions at yesterday’s annual plan deliberations after agreeing to pay for almost $700,000 worth of extra costs in the 2016-17 annual plan.
Read more

Spending $10million on stormwater infrastructure in the next year would not be possible.

“If you were talking about $10million phased in over the next five years, then that’s a much more reasonable proposition.” –WWS group manager

### ODT Online Wed, 11 May 2016
Upgrades would have to be phased in
By Vaughan Elder
Spending millions upgrading Dunedin’s stormwater infrastructure to better withstand floods would not be possible in the next year and increases would have to be ramped up over time, councillors were told. Council water and waste group manager Laura McElhone made the comment when asked by Cr Kate Wilson whether it would be possible, as an example, for her staff to manage spending an extra $10million in the next year.
Read more

Other ODT stories:

User-pays scheme for carbon
Increased landfill costs arising from the Emissions Trading Scheme will be passed on to users contributing to carbon emissions.

Asbestos likely to be cost in future
Asbestos may impact the financial health of the Dunedin City Council’s coffers in years to come but the extent of the cost remains unknown, councillors heard at yesterday’s annual plan deliberations.

Link to harbour supported
Installing a ground-level crossing linking Dunedin’s central city with the harbourside is to be investigated by the Dunedin City Council.

Octagon solution allows relief for other areas
A succesful solution to toilet woes in Dunedin’s Octagon has freed up funds for toilets elsewhere in the city.

George St work delayed
Dunedin City councillors agreed to delay a multimillion-dollar central city improvement programme by a year, giving staff more time to get it right.

Councillors support gas works site plan
The Dunedin City Council is investigating buying three sites in South Dunedin to allow for the future expansion of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum and the possible development of a community hub.

█ Lastly. The item somewhere off the public radar this budget round:
Will Council stop the MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR SUBSIDY to Dunedin Venues ?

Related Posts and Comments:
9.5.16 South Dunedin: Fixing Council attitudes and badly maintained…
6.5.16 South Dunedin Action Group: Notes of meeting with DCC (3 May 2016)
30.3.16 DCC: Snow White cause of substantial loss + DRAFT Annual Plan
23.2.16 Hold on! DCC Annual Plan 2016/17 #CommunityEngagement
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses

█ For more enter the term *flood* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

DCC mayor and councillors (2013-14) 1

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DCC: Finance Committee [public forum] 27 November

Updated post 26.11.13
DCC Annual Report 2012/2013

Join Finance Committee Chair Cr Richard Thomson, Deputy Chair Cr Hilary Calvert and senior Finance staff at the open meeting on Wednesday, 27 November.

busted-piggy-bank [investingcaffeine.com] 4The meeting is being held to allow members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding DCC finances to seek answers during an open question and answer session.

It is hoped that questions posed on the night can be answered on the night, so it would be helpful if questions that may require research could be provided in advance.

If you have a question, please email dcc @ dcc.govt.nz

When 27 Nov 2013 5:30pm-7:00pm
Where Meeting Room One, Municipal Chambers

Related Post and Comments:
17.11.13 DCC Finance Committee: Public meeting 27 November
[Invitation from Cr Richard Thomson]

DCC Link [no longer active]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: investingcaffeine.com – busted piggy bank, re-imaged by Whatifdunedin

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DCC Finance Committee: Public meeting 27 November

Updated post 26.11.13
DCC Annual Report 2012/2013

Received.

—– Original Message —–
From: Richard Thomson
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2013 8:53 PM

Hi Elizabeth,

you may wish to advise the readers of and contributors to your blog site of the following meeting. I have copied the gist of the advertisement regarding it below:

“You are invited to an open meeting with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Dunedin City Council Finance Committee, and senior finance staff. The intention of the meeting is to allow members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding Council Finances to seek answers to their questions during an open question and answer session. It is hoped that questions posed on the night can be answered on the night so It would be helpful if questions that may require research could be provided in advance. Please come and join Finance Committee Chair Cr Richard Thomson and Deputy Chair Cr Hilary Calvert and Council staff in Meeting Room 1 Dunedin Municipal Chambers at 5.30pm on the 27th of November”

I recognise that numbers are one thing and interpretation is another. Hilary and I are keen to make it as simple as possible for interested members of the public to get access to Council financial information. People may of course look at the same figures and draw different conclusions as to their importance, implications, or whatever. The point of the session is not to agree conclusions (although we can certainly discuss interpretation if people want) but to ensure that people have the information and understand it in order to draw their own conclusions. Whilst we anticipate that many questions will be answerable off the cuff, we will be able to provide better information for people if complex questions are communicated in advance. To that end you are perfectly free to include my email address for anyone who wishes to take advantage of this. Senior finance staff will also be in attendance. Whilst the initial meeting is an experiment by a new Chair and Deputy of the Finance Committee, if there is interest then we would hope to repeat it on a regular basis.

Regards
Richard Thomson

richard.thomson @ xtra.co.nz

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Cull’s state of denial…

See previous post:
24.9.12 DCC against imposition of local government reforms

Comment received.

Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2012/09/25 at 7:43 pm

Dave Cull and Paul Orders submitting on the proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing is entertaining to say the least.
Dave says “the DCC should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government”. Is he ‘avin a laugh’? It is just that which brought about the Government’s interest in this problem in the first place. He says rates and debt were two issues already at the top of his council’s agenda, and the Government’s proposed changes risked “unintended negative consequences”. He’s ‘avin a laugh again’. The man’s sense of humour knows no bounds. The proposed limit on rates rises would erode council’s previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates, he says. It’s almost like he is in a ‘drug rehabilitation programme’ and is in denial about his addiction. Classic response, don’t admit any problem, just leave me alone and I will sort it.
Sorry Dave, but you and your equally drug driven cohorts are in serious denial and the citizens are paying a very big price. He worries that to restrict them now would upset the ‘drug peddlers’ (banks) and cause the price to rise. That, of course would increase the pain and he just couldn’t stand that. It would seriously affect his sense of wellbeing and confidence in his own ability. The man is desperately in need of being loved by all.
Lee Vandervis, as our only hope, I hope you can mediate around that table and get some traction. I am not holding my breath.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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