Quick, Close The Curtains

2 Dec

I am a cynic skeptic.  When I see this in the Public Excluded Finance and Policy agenda

eil

I smell a rat.  This issue was raised under Urgent Business by Pottinger at the 6 September Finance and Policy meeting.

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Don’t forget that Boniface was a director on EIL and Chair of F&P that oversees Holdco’s role.  He knew what this was about.  He asked me on September 3 if I got ‘my Annual Report’.  He knew Pottinger and I had both been chasing it up.

eil

Obviously, I am the ‘member of the public’.  After trying to get the document, I told Pottinger of my difficulty.  They had me quite confused!  I was reading the Statement Of Intent, the Constitution, legislation and getting different dates.  I rang the Powernet/EIL offices and was told their end of year was 30 June but documents told me differently.  Pottinger, in following up for me, relayed that there was legislation that allowed them extra time.  That turned out to be wrong information from the council staff member.

eil

So the end result was that an explanation will be provided.  Why is that explanation coming to the table in Public Excluded, though?  I hope it is contested and remains in the public arena.  How can the problem be raised in public and the response be in public excluded?   It looks like a cover-up of their ongoing ineptness.  And what negotiations can there be?  You don’t negotiate legislation and your compliance.

This, of course, raises another issue.  Who gets to vote on this?

fp

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCO Annual Reports

28 Nov

I finally got around to following up on the CCO Annual Reports because they never make it easy, do they?  I have found the Airport one on their website but ICC did send it through.  An obscure filename at the bottom of a page.

EIL’s is on their (well, Powernet’s) website.  A few months ago an EIL staff member told me that their financial year ended 30 June but it is not (see below) and it looks like they have been late on many occasions with their reporting.

duh

Forestry’s 2016 report is here, with their $20.5M borrowing(? Am I reading that right?)

Property is happy with the fact that they sold one property for $42,000 (up from last year, which was $35K).  We mustn’t forget that the director’s fees are more than that, though.

And finally, Holdco, that consolidates it all and sucks some more dividend into its coffers.

 

The Absentee Blogger

11 Nov

Yes, I know, I haven’t been around.  I have been doing things I enjoy or which need to be done.  Blogging can be time-consuming.  I felt this has to be shared, though.

I felt this has to be shared, though.  I have not had it verified but I trust the source.

Ludlow, Lewis, and Thomas have been appointed as Invercargill City Holdings Ltd directors.

And Arnold (K) has been appointed a director of Electricity Invercargill Ltd.

I shall bite my tongue, for now, but am very aware that a response she gave to a question during the election period is looking to be a load of ….

UPDATE: LMAO (see comments) my source has provided their source:  the ICC website!!

ka

Aim, Fire…Miss

19 Sep

Sadly, the article regarding directors on CCO’s missed its target.  Not only was Powernet missed out altogether, the conflict issue was not really dealt with.

And it has not been candidates asking

For weeks city council candidates have demanded the remuneration current Invercargill City Councillors receive for council-controlled organisation directorships.  

Any candidate with any knowledge what local government is knows exactly where and how to get the info.  Incredibly, some candidates claimed to not knowing that councillors were paid as councillors.

Given, it is election time there is unlimited misinformation being said.  Multiple first-time candidates and an incumbent councillor have claimed that ‘we need council represented at the board table’ or similar.  The Companies Act and the company’s constitution does not allow that.  When you sit on a board you represent the needs of that company or organisation.  You cannot be a board member and serve a different organisation’s needs, hence the CONFLICT.

Sycamore should also be pulled up on the fact that he serves on Holdco (for $30,300) and its subsidiary Invercargill City Property (another $15,240).  Electricity Invercargill has the same situation with Boniface and Ludlow paid AGAIN to serve on subsidiary Powernet.

Someone should also tell Sycamore that Venture Southland tried to become a company and submissions did not support it.  It is NOT a CCO, it is a joint committee.

Machinations

16 Sep

I want progress in Invercargill/Southland.  It is important that the residents achieve some progress in their lives, too.  Rate increases need to be considered very carefully.  With that in mind, I hope the Inner City Development in public excluded at the extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 20 September is relating to a private investor who has plans for a ‘inner city development’.  Given, it is not a full council meeting, and is the Finance and Policy committee, I doubt that is the case.

money

At a monetary level, the Significance Policy claims that only unbudgeted capital expenditure over $5 million requires consultation.

Council will consider the magnitude of the decision in terms of its net cost to Council. Most major spending decisions will be made in the context of the LTP or Annual Plan. As a general guide, any individual decision involving more than $5 million of unbudgeted capital expenditure or $500,000 of unbudgeted annual operating costs may be
regarded as significant.
The policy has separate items (A-H) that could deem an issue/project ‘significant’.  I could easily play devil’s advocate, using their logic, to allow a project to go ahead.  Add to that, Cllr Arnold has said that the ‘next council will have to be brave’ as she raved about SoRDS.  She also said, to me, about there being $XX (6 or 12?)million for CBD upgrade.  I hope she wasn’t thinking the ICC could spend the targeted rate money on something other than what was consulted on?
I suppose we should be happy that it will also require a full council meeting before it can be progressed but given how close the election is, and that most people will have sent their voting papers in by the end of September, we may have a do or die mentality by the time an Extraordinary Council meeting comes about.
I hope this will not cause a rate increase that we have not been prepared for.
UPDATE:  SINCE POSTING THIS THE AGENDA WAS REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH AN 8am MEETING IN THE DRAWING ROOM OF THE CIVIC THEATRE.

Tabled Docs

14 Sep

After submitting to council a few years ago about tabled documents not being easy to access, ICC started uploading them after the meeting to their website.  It is nice to effect some change but sadly it is erratic, at best.  The last full council meeting prior to the elections was yesterday.  Upon entering I collected six documents.  I see ICC have uploaded one, the Mayors’ Report.

Because I believe information should be shared, here are the others.

tabled-email-delegations-13-sep-2016

tabled-public-forum-13-sep-2016-2

tabled-public-forum-13-sep-2016

tabled-st-john-rate-impact-13-sep-2016

tabled-_-urban-rejuvenation-sub-committee-minutes-28-june-2016-full-council-13-sep-2016

You will see the St John’s grant report there (second to last).  As my previous post said, they asked for $30,000.  Their budget showed $35,000 appx in fees to ICC.  Our council claimed to be showing leadership to other funders by giving $100,000.  I have tea to prepare because I am going out tonight but before I sign off I will point out that some councillors did (finally) suggest that fees be waived for St John’s build.  Sadly, no decision was made on that and they just decided on Option 2 and moved on.  As someone who struggles to pay their rates, I am not happy that ICC gave more of OUR money than was requested.  I do not believe that view demeans the worthy organisation that St John’s is but I do believe it is not necessary.  Council is funding more and more none local government related items.  It is of great concern to me.

St John and The Invercargill City Council

7 Sep

I was able to get along to the Finance and Policy meeting yesterday.  I had pre-read the agenda luckily (because none were available).  I was interested to see what the committee would decide with regard to the $2.2 million dollar St John’s hub.  St John’s were asking for a one-off $30,000 grant.

 

stj

Most likely 2018, seemingly

St John’s are, of course, a worthy cause and discussion to that effect ensued.  It came up that the Coastguard got $50K and Thomas suggested that this was more relevant to the general population and a six-figure amount may be appropriate.  Boniface was very quick to suggest $30K from reserves.  It then followed that they could give $30K now and add more to the Annual Plan for consultation.  Monies allocated over two years was raised, etc.  In the end, it was decided that Mr King come back with a report about the reserve account and what they could spare.  They are all aware that $480K was just put in there by the way.

I do not consider reserve accounts as petty cash or slush funds.  I see them as an emergency ‘overdraft’.  For using when something comes up that they couldn’t have prepared for, or similar.  This funding can be delayed as they are not in an immediate need of the funds (they said that at the meeting).

What flabbergasts me is this

stj1

NO-ONE said, “how about we direct staff to waive ALL fees”?  OMG!!

Instead, they sat around claiming that giving reserve money would show leadership to the ‘other funders’.  Do CTOS and ILT and The Lotteries Commission make their decisions based on what ICC fund?  I doubt it.

And by the way, this project does not need ‘leadership’, it is being led by St John’s.  It is their project.  How about you support them?  The confidence in knowing that they will not have to worry about building fees will do just that.  That is how I see councils, as a support team.  When the Tour of Southland comes through, I see the many support vehicles.  Officials, making sure there are no obstacles in the way and vans alongside, or bringing up the rear, ready with water and the likes.  That is what I see the role of council as, providing support.  The limelight and leadership should not come into it.