What to do with an unspent $1m?

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull say he is committed to keeping rates within a self imposed 3% limit – about three times the inflation rate and after increasing rates in previous years.

ODT reports:

…it was signalled that $700,000 worth of extra costs discovered by council staff would make it tougher for the council to stick within the 3% limit.

But then:

Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said the $1 million allocated in last year’s annual plan towards installing lights at University Oval…

…would make it easier to get rates lower? No, this is Dunedin.

…could be spent on one-off projects in the 2016-17 year, after the project was dropped.

What?

Mayor Dave Cull said having access to the funds was welcome and would allow the council to fund items the community indicated it wanted.

What about members of the community want escalating rates brought under control?

The spend mentality is one problem. So is Cull’s claim “the community indicated it wanted”? How does Cull know what “the community” want?

During feedback, submitters were positive about all areas of additional spending consulted on, Mr Cull said.

Did they choose more spending over reducing rates increases?

How many submitters? Some on the council have a habit of claiming that an active minority somehow represents everyone.

Like this today from Councillor Jinty McTavish:

It’s great to see Dunedinites calling for ANZ to follow the Council’s lead and divest from fossil fuels.

But ‘Dunedinites’ didn’t all feel the same way about the protest.

Stuff reports: Protesters blasted by passersby for blocking elderly customers from entering ANZ bank in Dunedin

More than 120 climate change protesters blocked entry to three ANZ bank branches in George Street.

Spokeswoman Niamh O’Flynn, of 350 Aotearoa, said the protest was targeting ANZ because the bank invested in, and supported, businesses that caused climate change through their activities.

Protest in a democracy. But obstructing people from going about their business isn’t as flash.

ANZProtestDunedin

Does councillor McTavish think that is good Dunedinite behaviour?

One passerby berated the protesters who refused to budge for an elderly woman wanting to use the bank.

“Come on you . . . . let the old lady in,” he said.

“Get out of the bloody way. You are doing your cause no good.”

Customer Jennifer Lee said she needed to use the bank, “and I had no choice but to take off my shoes and climb over them”.

Perhaps they are some of the same submitters who urge the council to spend more of other people’s money.

I asked Jinty how many Dunedinites thought obstructing other Dunedinites was great but she hasn’t responded yet.

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19 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  12th May 2016

    Perhaps they are some of the same submitters who urge the council to spend more of other people’s money.
    Probably not. They all look too young to know what money is.

    Reply
    • The spokesperson has been involved in protests for years. Could have been one of the Occupy group that wanted to replace money with, ah, peace and love and mung beans or something.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th May 2016

        What happened to Occupy ? I can’t believe that they really expected to achieve anything by those means. I suppose that it was easier than doing anything constructive to help poor people like that young American who makes tiny houses from reused timber and such things and gives them to homeless people.

        Reply
  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  12th May 2016

    I can’t see how lights can cost that. Surely that’s not the usual cost for floodlights or whatever they’re called.

    I just missed most of the ANZ story. I’d love to have seen the old lady calmly walking over them when they wouldn’t move. She’s a big girl, too, unless it’s the camera angle. Let’s hope that she was also busting to have a pee and that they held her back just too long….and wished that they hadn’t.

    Reply
    • “”I stood on one, so felt a bit bad about that.”

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th May 2016

      I love it when you talk dirty like that kit.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th May 2016

        Well, it would have been funny 😀 I wonder if she sniggered when she said that she felt bad about treading on one.

        That really is bad, to stop people who have nothing to do with the protest cause from going about their business. How not to win supporters. I wonder if they’d have moved if a Pasifika rugby team had been about to walk over them to get into the bank ?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  12th May 2016

          Nah, da boyz woulda just picked em all up gently, smiled, and put ’em down in da gutter.

          Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  12th May 2016

          You two thought about getting a room?

          Reply
  3. Ray

     /  12th May 2016

    I was on a school board with with the financial wizard of the local council
    He was blown away that the departments didn’t spend everything they were budgeted for.
    The school was being run by two people who understood budgeting and had enough Scottish grandmothers to understand money management
    A pity Dunedin has fallen away from the old standards

    Reply
  4. Councils – monopolies with a spend first fund later mental, where everything is always more expensive than last year.

    Local government is a disgrace and rate payers are just milchcows to be drained over and over

    Reply
  5. jamie

     /  12th May 2016

    “Perhaps they are some of the same submitters who urge the council to spend more of other people’s money.”

    Perhaps they’re recovering necrophiliacs.

    Perhaps they’re serial drink-driving circus performers.

    Perhaps they’re a time-travelling synchronised swimming team.

    If we’re going to just make things up, why not really take a swing at it?

    As for what to do with an unspent $1 million of rates, how about giving it back to the ratepayers?

    Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  13th May 2016

    I’d rather that it was kept for emergencies, as it would be so little for every ratepayer if it was given back and the admin costs would be huge.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th May 2016

      If there were 100,000 ratepayers, which is highly unlikely, that would be $10 each. If there were 50,000, they’d have $20 each. It’s far better to keep it as an emergency fund for the city.

      Reply

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