Yeah, Nah

16 Nov

I have had the day to process this and $27,700 over three years may not seem ‘excessive’ as such, but…how many people go to work for a few hours and are then given a feed, paid for by the employer?

I know of people that get paid a meal allowance once they have worked more than nine hours (for example).  The odd time we had a stocktake that needed to be finished we would be able to order a few pizzas out of petty cash.  To only be at work a dog’s watch and then be fed is an insult to those who live in the real world and pay for you to hold the position.  By the people, for the people…elected and funded by the people to speak for the people.

Cr Lindsay Abbott, however, said he thought it was a “fair call” to have dinner provided after a meeting lasting two or three hours.

Those residents that attend the meetings also have to persevere through those two or three hour meetings.  We are not paid to attend and I, for example, spend $20 in fuel to get there.  I then go home and make tea or buy something on the way home.  What’s the problem?  It is call Elected Members Remuneration for a reason.  You are remunerated for the position you put you hand up for.  I might be less forgiving during the annual plan or LTP process but if a lunch break is scheduled why can’t you bring lunch or pop out and get something?  It’s not rocket science nor is it our responsibility as ratepayers to pay you AND feed you.  Many people wouldn’t realise the tax benefits of being an elected member either.  Mileage, meals, internet, printing etc can all be claimed through the tax system meaning most will receive a tax refund at the end of the financial year.

Process this Cr Abbott, the council meeting schedule for next year has NINE meetings.  I’ll even through in a few more annual plan or extraordinary and make it twelve a year.  Three years for $27,700 is $9,233 per year.  That equates to $769 per meeting.  We have thirteen elected members.  Your ‘fair call’ cost us $59.15 each.  I do not spend that much on dinner for my family of six.

Well done Ms Harris!!!

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12 Responses to “Yeah, Nah”

  1. cracker666 November 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    If that’s the best they can come up with then you should be worried rather than applauding. They just signed away another $40K a year plus in sister city visits. This is a smokescreen, pure and simple.

    • Kylie November 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      And not to forget Rugby Park. If they are relegated to sammies as part of the diversion so be it but does that mean ‘the peoples councillor’ is now puffing the smoke at us then?

    • Kylie November 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Sadly we have to trust them that it is only $27k. The foxes are guarding the hen house remember…

      • Lindsay Abbott November 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

        A “fair call” would be in the first instances some factual statements. You have not included committee meetings. Workshop meetings or sub committee’s of council etc along with others called from time to time,, although you quote a “few” more in your blog. My conservative estimate would be 50 meetings per year ,and while I acknowledge some would not have a duration of 3 hours – many have a duration of three hours plus. Consider also this or in your words process this. Attendee’s at meetings are not only elected representatives – they include staff – advisors- and others ( who with humour I have often asked why they are there? LOL)
        Therefore I would estimate there would be 35 meetings plus with a duration of longer than 3 hours duration, and there would be an estimated 7 plus other than councillors and the mayor – = 20 pax divided by 9000 per anum = approximately $12.85 per attendee. Process this likewise – unfortunately you were not elected. Had you been you would welcome the sustenance after a 3 hour plus meeting particularly if you had been an employed employee in the work place (other than your council role). I think it’s a bit rich to insinuate that I am a spendthrift – my voting records show disapproval for overseas visits, retreats, cbd upgrades, extra funding of the stadium, increased director fees. The proposed purchase of the football stadium etc. Its offensive to suggest quote “This is hugely expensive and looks like a culture of extravagance and excess – especially at a time when our ratepayers are under considerable pressure because they are on fixed incomes or elderly and many people in our community are struggling. “Unquote

        Particularly when I have often been the lone voice against “extravagance and excess”
        Cheers = Lindsay.

  2. Kylie November 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    In my unpaid role – mother – I regularly work for many hours (frequently all day) without sustenance and jump in the car, drive to town for a council meeting, do the groceries and then stop at Burger King before going home. The violin won’t work on me. Does Bupa buy your lunch? If not why not? You expect us to. You are paid by both. If elected – NO I wouldn’t have! Time management – grab a burger on the way.
    Charlie goes to work at 4pm, has a smoko break at 6.30, dinner break at 9.00 and back to work. It’s up to him to feed himself. It’s known as the real world. Did you see the campbell live item with parliamentary cleaners on casual contracts that had to do one job for 5 hrs wait two before they go to another job to work 4 or so more hours, all to make ends meet and no one bought their dinner. Cry me a river Cllr Abbott. You may well have been the lone voice against many things but here you are the lone voice supporting it.
    And if this is a ‘smokescreen’, are you a willing participant or are King and Shadbolt setting you up too?

    • eskstreetblues November 16, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

      But Charlie doesn’t work all year does he? Who pays for his lunch when he’s not having three breaks within 5 hours at work?

      • Kylie November 16, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

        How do you get three breaks out of that?
        He gets another at midnight then that’s it till knock off at 5am….on a good night. Don’t know what your aiming for but the ISSUE is what job pay for your lunch/dinner etc?
        No one is paying for his lunch ever ESB and if you must know we spend considerable time on stand down and then on a benefit this year while we wait for the works to start up again. What is your point?

  3. Kylie November 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    And would you like to clarify that the CEO on $200K plus is being fed too? Committee meetings? WTF, sub committees, are we feeding the Powernet staff too?
    No wonder everyone goes to ICC with their handout, you get a cheque and a free feed. Where do we book?

  4. eskstreetblues November 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    So it’s okay for the taxpayer to feed Charlie when he’s not working for them but not okay for the ratepayer to feed Lindsay when he is working for them?

    • Kylie November 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      And if we were not in the unfortunate situation to only be able to get seasonal work how would you argue the case?
      Let’s take the person out of the equation since you are too cowardice to put your name out there.
      A seasonal worker pays their taxes when working (and would work all year given the opportunity from my experience). Taxes are paid (by all) with the knowledge that they will be used for WINZ support amongst other things. Do you pay your rates knowing they will go to food for staff and elected members who are on the clock already? I sure as hell didn’t. Civic functions for hosting guests I ‘get’ but not just because they can.
      Let’s also factor in the amount being ‘paid’. The works are starting a lot later this year but had it started the same time as the previous year we may not have needed taxpayer support. My question you ESB is, if Charlie and I (since you are sooooo interested in us) never needed to go on the benefit how would you argue that it is OK for paid staff (incl elected) to be fed by ratepayers?

  5. Philip T November 17, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    gotta wonder at the whole decision. Who decided and why? If its the start of a process to look at all spending that council does I would applaud but think its just a bit of headline grabbing for some reason. I would think its all a bit pathetic really and if they are serious about waste lets hear about the strategic process being put in place to examine how council could make some very real savings. Wage spend out of control, rate increases out of control and all we get is a story about a sandwich. Probably took council staff 100 hours to write a report about the picnic.

    • Kylie November 17, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      I did think it was strange for the Secretarial Services Manager to be making the call and sending out the email. It would be interesting to know the background. I am a believer in the principle that that small changes can add up. If it is the beginning of some change I welcome it.

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