Read some James MacGregor Burns:
In today’s fish n chipper column (not online yet), the Part Time Mayor becomes this guy:
About the only thing he doesn’t blame is the terrible twos.
He should also re-acquaint himself with this document:
And as Fairfax is on a cost cutting drive, I have a way for them to save money:
Paid? Is there anything he doesn’t demand a fee for?
Tags: ICC muppets, part time mayor, tim shotbolt
The fish n chipper notes the stunning leadership qualities of the Part Time Mayor:
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt would not return phone calls yesterday to discuss whether he would be talking to Dennis about the situation. Shadbolt’s personal assistant Morina Colyer said Shadbolt was in Nelson at an aquaculture conference and his only comments were made in a statement.
Aquaculture conference? What does he know about that? Oh, hang on:
Inspiration. And as it is relatively difficult (although not impossible) to get back to Invercargill from Nelson at that time of night, that cocktail function is probably more appealing than being a leader and asserting some authority.
But the real question the fish n chipper missed was whether he was being paid for that speaking engagement. There’s some times when you do have to be on the clock when you’re getting $105,000 a year (excluding the $17,000 from the airport directorship).
Still, it’s nice to see where his priorities lie.
Just as an illustration, on the current amount owed, $23,640 per annum is paid in interest.
Let’s say someone could be bothered re-financing it to the current retail rate of, say, 7%, that would save the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust $13,293 a year in interest costs.
But they haven’t. Just as they haven’t created new income streams or kept up the maintenance. Roger Clark’s legacy lives on, and the Part Time Mayor wants you to pay for Roger’s poor business acumen yet again….
And Kylie has covered it here, but I’d like to thank the Part Time Mayor for supplying his non-scientific poll results to assist us in helping him make a decision on whether the Kremlin should “inherit” Rugby Park (and its massive debt):
- Rugby Southland/Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust has made no effort to create new income streams since the Stadium was rebuilt over a decade ago
- It owes shitloads
- It will be a drain on ratepayers
- It was shifted to the Stadium Trust to help get Rugby Southland out of potential bankruptcy (gee, where have we heard the words “Rugby Southland” and “potential bankruptcy” before?)
- It is not a particularly attractive asset or setting
- There is a shitload of overdue preventative maintenance and strengthening work required running into the millions.
Mind you, the Part Time Mayor has been banging on about it so much in his columns, he’ll have to stand aside from any decision. As will Al Bundy as chair of the major funder of Rugby Southland which is in reality the deus ex machina behind the paper Trust.
If the Kremlin take this on, they are going against all the
faux public consultation through several Annual Plans that came back with a resounding no.
The fish n chipper gave the Kremlin a fist up the back passage this morning, but, as is my wont, I don’t think they went far enough. They probably only just reached the Invercargill Shitty Council’s stomach.
This whole process has so many procedural failings, one has to call into question the capability of the director of finance and the town clerk to carry out their roles in a manner suitable for their positions and responsibilities.
One also has to wonder about the governance procedures at the Kremlin.
In my experience, when elected members (or Board members, for that matter) have a conflict of interest, they are expected to remove themselves from the room – not just from the table. Every Board I have been on or worked with has had that rule.
Mark von Dadelzen’s excellent textbook, “Member’s Meetings” sets it out clearly:
Such decision-makers are usually excluded from meetings of the statutory entity while it discusses, considers anything relating to, or decides, the matter in respect of which such decision-makers have an interest.
Even if the legislation does not exclude such people from meetings, good practice suggests they are better to leave to avoid any suggestion of influence.
If, however, the meeting is open to the public and reporters it may not be necessary for them to leave the room, but they should still move away from the table.
He then goes on to refer to Standing Orders for Local Authorities, and here’s what they say:
Members who have declared a non-pecuniary conflict of interest in matters to be discussed should consider leaving the meeting room for the full duration of discussion on such matters if they have a fixed position leading into the decision making process as a result of the declared non-pecuniary conflict of interest.
Now The Aged Al Bundy might argue he didn’t have a fixed position, but this suggests otherwise.
I personally don’t think any Councillors should be on Council-owned company boards unless i) they have particular skills the Board can utilise (being able to call someone a C U Next Tuesday doesn’t count, because any C U Next Tuesday can do that, Al) and ii) they are a member of the Institute of Directors and have gone through that body’s extensive training scheme(s). I wonder if the Councillors collecting thousands from their seat-warming prowess realise that they aren’t indemnified for any potential cock-ups under section 43 of the Local Government Act?
I certainly don’t believe a Council employee should be the chief executive of the Council’s holding company. That mistake has been proven over and over during this current sorry saga.
And finally, with such a massive undertaking, when was the last time the Council’s Audit and Risk committee met? Perhaps the chair was too busy scoffing at the plebs to arrange a get-together on something as important as the uncalled capital proposal:
Cr Graham Lewis chooses to interpret the paucity of public feedback on the uncalled capital proposal to date as indicative of both apathy and contentment to trust the council. He often highlights the importance of just trusting experts – enough to raise the question of whether he is the ideal personality type to chair the council’s audit and risk committee.
The Kremlin had a great opportunity to re-jig their appallingly poor (that’s being nice) governance structure when they were about to appoint a brand new CEO in early 2013. But The Man With Too Much To Lose fudged his vote, the rest folded, and we’re left with the local government’s equivalent of a double facepalm.
Something has to change.