I am referring to Neil Thomas’ letter in today’s Letters To The Editor. The Southland Times article did not elude to the fact that the councillors voted to bring it in to the public arena.
GOOD TO SEE DEBATE
It was pleasing to watch our councillors debate the Splash palace gym. Most council business is done in public-excluded sessions and this was on the agenda to also be in the public-excluded session. Cr Abbott raised under general business that, due to public interest, it should be held in open council. This was moved, seconded and passed.
After a debate on this subject, several councillors spoke against the gym. Several questioned the independent report and how they conducted their survey. Then some councillors, as they spoke, indicated they would be voting against the motion. Then Mayor Shadbolt gave an impassioned plea to proceed with it and it was interesting at that stage Cr Boniface turned and said to Mr Thompson the pool manager that they had the numbers. How wrong he was. The vote of 7 against and only 5 for (Cr Ludlow didn’t attend the meeting) and the gym was no more.
Several indicated during the debate that the gym was proposed to get the changing room altered at no cost, being hidden under the gym cost, and if it wasn’t, it would have to come from the rates.
My main point though is the debate in open council should include most items that are discussed in the public-excluded sessions and only issues where staff or pricing is involved should be in excluded sessions. The council is meant to consult the ratepayers on most decisions but as the public are excluded from most discussions, how can they make informed submissions to the council?
How come our DHB gets replaced and not our council? As always it probably comes down to money. Procedure is overlooked far too often. The most recent Events Committee agenda includes a complaint to the Ombudsman’s Office regarding procedure. The councillors (and CEO’s) attempt to resolve it and in the process breach procedure AGAIN!
Reading through Events Committee minutes has reminded me of an oversight of Council from 27 February 2015.
Firstly, this highlighted to me that the Iconic Fund grants are recurring. That was news to me. Secondly, it is now May 2016. Why do the financials of the Events Committee look like this then?
That grant is, and always will be, a thorn in my side.
The suggested remuneration going to the meeting on 3rd May
While procrastinating doing the dishes (I really should train my children better) I searched ‘Rugby Park Council’ on the Southland Times website. The results are a nice little refresher of what has happened (and a reminder of the decisions ICC makes with F all due diligence)
I have requested the agenda for this meeting be uploaded. Two full working days before the meeting remember. Bated breath may be an exaggeration given we already know the Iconic Fund is over budget but it is always interesting to see what put it over budget. Whether process was followed and what ‘connection’ there is to the event is always insightful.
The Events Committee failed to balance the budget again! Lucky these people aren’t running our city….oh, hold it, yes they are!!
From the Finance and Policy agenda
Wow! A Risk Committee meeting at ICC. I can’t remember the last time we had one. Cllr Lewis will get to be Chair for one last time before the elections (and not running again I hear…?). The meeting even has an agenda…albeit a lame ass one. It does have this intriguing tidbit in public excluded though
Who needs to include negotiating in their apology?