Hell In A Hand Basket

28 Aug

I’ve never been too shy to admit I take a small dosage of Prozac everyday.   It’s not a weakness, it’s an acknowledgement that I need a little help.  Sometimes I forget to take it and after a few days I notice.  I have been taking it but still yesterday’s meeting and today’s paper have me worried that things are going to hell in a hand basket.

Yesterday’s meeting…OMG.  I can’t say I want to rehash every thing due to time (and blood pressure) and because I realise that the paper and council should be providing better information.  I’m more than happy to answer any questions if you have them but sooooo much happened (4 hours) I could be here most of the day.  Feel free to ask what a particular councillor had to say or if they had excuses for this, that, and the other.

Obviously there are a few opinions I would like to share (I wouldn’t be me without an opinion!).  Mayoral candidate Lindsay Dow spoke against the CBD upgrade until the earthquake assessments were done.  While in the gallery, him and I had a couple of small exchanges.  We seem to be on the same page over the assessments – start NOW.   Waiting for central government to confirm, legislate, dot i’s and cross t’s won’t change the buildings earthquake rating.  When government do confirm it there will be a rush on to get it done.  Why not snap up the engineers/assessors to do the job now?  Invercargill will be way down the list of priorities when the final word comes through.  North Island councils are going to pay more and have more work for the assessors, they won’t be rushing to little ol’ Invers.

If I were a councillor I would expect to be able to ask council staff for a list of pre-1976 buildings and get it that day.  I hope ICC have already got processes in place to write to all those pre-1976 (non-residential) properties and ask if they have already had an assessment done.  Someone from the City Gallery spoke in Public Forum at yesterday’s meeting.  They were asked what the building rating was – 40%.  Well, that’s one they can tick as done!  Sadly this came up because the Southland Arts Society were asking for ICC to take ownership of the building (28 Don Street).  The lady gave a lovely speech about the things they do at the gallery and who they involve.  It made me want to go but sadly she did not say why ICC were being asked.  I assumed it was because maintenance was too hard for them.

My blood pressure did not fare well when South Alive presented and the opening included a statement that South Alive “have a need for further sustenance” – that’s code for we want you to keep giving us money.  Nor do they think they will be sustainable for 5 or 6 years.  It was all about patting themselves on the back and reminding council to keep funding them.  My stomach turned as they referred to ‘ICC’s investment in South Alive’ and that it was a ‘good investment of your money’ and ‘remember we are cheap to run but don’t run us too cheap’.  The claim that Rebuild Kaiapoi sent people down to see how they worked  had them also point out that they have two paid co-ordinators .  Should we be proud that you only have one?  Woolongong has approached South Alive seemingly and the South Alive co-ordinator (Janette Malcolm I assume) is going to visit them.

My blood pressure is going through the roof now and I have already waffled for far longer than I intended.  I haven’t even touched on how the paper has wound me up today.  One thing that I will never be able to remove from brain is the image of politicians and ‘leaders’ ‘twerking’.  I did not need that in my head…


7 Responses to “Hell In A Hand Basket”

  1. Kylie August 28, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I had to look up the Southland Art Society and it seems they haven’t filed financial info since 2008 and their address hasn’t changed but they list themselves as paying rent….have they bought 28 Don St since 2008? Who are the actual owners? Were they asking on behalf of the owners? Come on Southland Times…do your job…

  2. Kylie August 28, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Now it is starting to make sense. It’s on the market and they want ICC to be their landlord for security as tenants I suppose.

  3. Philip T August 28, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Give up asking the Southland Times for any half decent investigative reporting. They are now almost completely at the tabloid level and so many stories that need told are ignored because they need hard work and a certain level of competence. If the Art Society was having nude models for the public to look at it would be on the front page in bold headlines. However the community needs are being ignored and as I have already said during the last election the times did next to nothing. I was hopeful this time around they would look at things differently. Just a story on who has been getting what because of their elected positions over the last three years would be of huge public interest. After all it is public money they are fleecing

    • Kylie August 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      And more focus on all those Council Controlled Organisations. The Times started with a few summaries of candidates but that seems to have stopped after only doing about three….?

  4. Philip T August 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    And your blog headline should be” How deep can they get their hands into your pockets”

  5. Tom August 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    What else did South Alive say? Did they have any proof they were a success?

    • Kylie August 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      They showed some stats to say more people noticed a difference. I’m a fine print person so made a point of looking – it said 3% couldn’t see a difference and 13% didn’t know or want to answer.
      A comment that concerned me was “hopefully it will also benefit businesses”.

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