A DCC Deputy Chair position is a Councillor novice opportunity to sit in the Chair’s position in the unlikely event of the Chair being unavailable. It carries no responsibility or opportunity to contribute in any meaningful way. Deputy Chair is simply an empty title liberally handed out to give novice Councillors hope that they might be in a queue for real Mayoral promotion.
The Chairs under Mayor Cull have precooked Council agendas in influential ‘Chairs meetings’, and controlled Committee meetings, and get well paid for all this extra ‘work’.
I was Deputy Chair of Infrastructure Services many years ago when Andrew Noone was Chair, but was never allowed to attend a Chairs’ meeting.
A Chair of any of the main DCC Committees is therefore a real position of responsibility and influence, which neither Mayor Cull nor Hawkins has allowed me. https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/no-leadership-role-vandervis Mayor Hawkins claims to value diversity and inclusiveness, saying divergent views around the Council table is healthy. By excluding Dunedin’s highest polling Councillor from the inner circle of Chairs, Mayor Hawkins continues the hypocrisy of saying one thing, while doing its opposite.
To honour all those Dunedin citizens who have given me almost twice the votes of any other Councillor, I resolve to bring them regular website updates on what I see really happening at the DCC without misrepresentation or suppression by the Otago Daily Times.
Mayor Hawkins has faltered in his first decisions as Mayor, unable to drive the new Council in any other direction than that long set by Mayor Cull, with similar $14,000+ rewards for his like-minded chairs, and double-up deputy chairs to ensure that everyone got something except Cr. Vandervis. Mayor Hawkins’ claim to be “excited about the diversity of skills and talent the election has delivered, and all Councillors will have important roles to play under his leadership” clearly is not true of Dunedin’s most popular and experienced Councillor.
Mayor Hawkins has lost the potential to finally have Infrastructure Services overseen by somebody with long Council experience, technical understanding and highly successful business history, which does not bode well for Dunedin’s future drainage, electrical, building and transport infrastructure – traffic flows, parking, and vehicle electrification.
Mayor Hawkins’ preaching diversity and inclusion, while practicing ‘similar values’ and exclusion, marks the continuation of the dysfunctional Council that has already delivered a near BILLION$ debt, and panoramic deferred maintenance. I am looking forward to remaining engaged with Dunedin’s public, receiving and responding to comments on both this site and on Facebook.
Mayor-elect advises Councillor appointments – DCC
18 October 2019) – Dunedin Mayor-elect Aaron Hawkins says he’s excited about
the diversity of skills and talent the election has delivered, and all
Councillors will have important roles to play under his leadership.
Hawkins today advised his appointments for Deputy Mayor and Committee Chairs
for the new triennium.
has appointed Cr Christine Garey as Deputy Mayor, while Crs Marie Laufiso
(Community and Culture), Chris Staynes (Economic Development), Mike Lord
(Finance and CCOs), Jim O’Malley (Infrastructure Services), and David
Benson-Pope (Planning and Environment) will be the Standing Committee Chairs. Cr
Andrew Whiley will be Chair of the Bylaws Subcommittee, and Cr Garey will be
Chair of the Grants Subcommittee.
Hawkins says all councillors were offered positions, whether as Committee chairs
or deputy chairs.
met individually with the councillors this week to discuss their hopes and
aspirations for this term. Wherever possible, my appointments reflect those
discussions and recognise councillors’ areas of interest.
election has delivered a diverse range of talent and skills around the Council
table and my expectation is that all councillors, regardless of their
appointments, will have much to contribute over the next three years,” he says.
Hawkins says his expectations around the workloads and responsibilities of all
councillors have been reflected in recommended changes to elected members’
recommended changes are approved, the Deputy Mayor’s remuneration would be set
at $90,790, Committee Chairs* $85,786 each, and Councillors $71,488 each. Increases
on previous elected members’ remuneration are required due to an increase in
the total pool determined by the Remuneration Authority. The Authority requires
that the pool is fully committed.
councillor appointments will be noted, and councillor remuneration confirmed,
at the inaugural Council meeting on Friday, 25 October.
Chairs and Deputy
Chairs for Committees of Council
The Mayoralty is the position that can influence so many local Government issues and processes. What will Mayor Hawkins change?
Mayor Hawkins asked me what I would have done as Mayor in a wide-ranging and pleasant discussion. One of my plans which I relayed to him was to get rid of the Council Chamber platforms that raised CEO, minutes and presenting DCC staff above the level of Councillors, and to be a Mayor that abandoned the elevated throne for a Councillor level seat at the head of the big Council table, creating a physically level debating environment, rather than having Mayor and staff always talking down to Councillors. Little Mayor Cull would never dream of abandoning his high-chair, but Mayor Hawkins seems keen on reducing the elected member’s hierarchy, remuneration differences, and A-team/B-team issues. His choice of Deputy Mayor will indicate how much he values voter representation and Councillor experience over towing a party line. I would also have made a number of changes to standing orders, including scraping the awkward requirement for speaking Councillors to stand, while all other DCC staff and Mayor could speak while remaining seated. Mayor Hawkins replied that there were some traditions worth keeping like the Mayoral oil painting, with which I agreed, but the talking down to Councillors and having to stand traditions have long been symbolic of an elevated Bureaucracy wagging the dog of our so-called Democracy. Opportunities abound for our new Mayor Hawkins to use his pivotal position to improve DCC decision-making.
Again Mayor Cull shuts down appropriate questions asked at the appropriate time.
Email received yesterday as below, again well outside the legally required date to answer a question under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, again no answer as to WHY this motion received low priority for over 2 years, and again another version of ‘NO copy of the draft Unitary Council report was SENT to the ORC’ – it now appears that DCC CEO Bidrose HAND DELIVERED the draft Unitary Council report herself to the ORC but it was NOT COMPLETELY VIEWED BY ORC CEO Bodeker!
The now suppressed draft Unitary Council report that I have belatedly been allowed to view runs to 14 pages and sets out all the procedural steps for the formation of a Unitary Council plus some sparse redacted staff comment.
From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz> Date: Thursday, 4 July 2019 at 5:06 PM To: Lee Vandervis <email@example.com> Cc: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, “Council 2016-2019 (Elected Members)” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Official Information <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Urgently required answers to Unitary Council report related questions Dear Lee I refer to your e-mail of 27 May 2019 which is attached below and I apologise for the delay in responding. I have copied your questions and provided responses to each question using your original numbering. The responses are as follows: 1, why have you still not said why this particular report received such low priority? Does your answer to 4 imply that this low prioritisation decision was the CEO’s? Why “was no date aimed for, for the report to go to Council.”? These remain pivotal and unanswered questions. Questions 1 and 4 were answered at the Council meeting on 28 May 2019 and so in LGOIMA terms the information is now publicly available pursuant to section 17 (d) of LGOIMA. The link for the recording is below and discussion that provides the answer to your questions begins at 1.25.03 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ46R_RZ36w&feature=youtu.be 4 does not answer the obvious question as to why the work was not done prior to August 2018. Please answer, as a more specified LGOIMA question, why this work was not done for 20 months prior to August 2018. As advised in my response to question 1, there were other major projects which impacted on staff time, and after speaking to Committee Chairs in 2017, the report was scheduled for completion in 2018. Then the PGF work, requiring close collaboration with ORC, began. 8 – Was the draft version of the Unitary Council report viewed by, or sent to, anyone else other than senior DCC staff? Specifically was it viewed by, or sent to, the Mayor or any DCC Councillors? No 9 interim equivocal answer not accepted by me, as a reliable source of information confirms that a copy of the draft Unitary Council report has been viewed by senior ORC staff. 10 Please confirm unequivocally whether or not the draft Unitary Council report was shown by DCC staff to ORC staff, whether officially through the proper channels, or unofficially without any DCC record of the transfer of information? Questions 9 and 10 The report was never shown to any ORC staff member or elected member. The DCC CEO and the ORC’s CEO of the time (Peter Bodeker) did discuss the Unitary Council process and his views on process. This was at a regular meeting between them, held on 30 March 2017. The former CEO of the ORC did not receive a copy of the draft report, although Dr Bidrose had an early draft of the “process of becoming a unitary authority” with her at that meeting among a selection of other papers. The draft report, which on 30 March 2017, was a high level outline focussed on process, was physically on the table during their discussion, along with a range of other papers. It was therefore technically shown to Mr Bodeker. However, he did not read the report although he did view the outline of what he referred to as “a table of contents”. Mr Bodeker has further confirmed that neither Dr Bidrose or any other staff member gave him or sent him a copy of the draft report. The current CEO of the ORC (Sarah Gardner) has also confirmed that she never saw or was sent a copy of the draft report. I have cc’ed the reply to those recipients of your original email and to the LGOIMA team for noting the reply. Regards Sandy
On 27/05/2019, at 9:39 PM, Lee Vandervis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Thank you for your answers as below Sandy. Regarding question 1, why have you still not said why this particular report received such low priority? Does your answer to 4 imply that this low prioritisation decision was the CEO’s? Why “was no date aimed for, for the report to go to Council.”? These remain pivotal and unanswered questions. 2 & 3 are answered by your attachment thank you 4 does not answer the obvious question as to why the work was not done prior to August 2018. Please answer, as a more specified LGOIMA question, why this work was not done for 20 months prior to August 2018. Your suggestion that “In August 2018 Councillors gave feedback agreeing to the work being done after the PGF (especially waterfront) work was completed “ is untrue in my case at least. I never gave feedback or agreed that the work be done after the PGF informally or otherwise. I did agree that the release of the report could be delayed at that time because of some suggested extreme ORC sensitivity while a Waterfront property deal was being negotiated. This decision was in any event outside our proper decision-making framework. Having the CEO sidling up to individual Councillors over a cuppa suggesting the convenience of a delay in releasing the report in no way authorises staff to not do the work of duly confirmed resolution of Council. 5,6,&7 answers accepted 8 interim equivocal answer accepted, given time constraint, but an unequivocal answer is still sought under LGOIMA within LGOIMA time frames. 9 interim equivocal answer not accepted by me, as a reliable source of information confirms that a copy of the draft Unitary Council report has been viewed by senior ORC staff. 10 new LGOIMA request. Please confirm unequivocally whether or not the draft Unitary Council report was shown by DCC staff to ORC staff, whether officially through the proper channels, or unofficially without any DCC record of the transfer of information? I accept that this new LGOIMA request can only reasonably be actioned within normal LGOIMA 21 working day timeframes. Looking forward to getting all the answers sought within 21 working days. Kind regards,