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Mercury Bay Boondoggle

The most controversial item on yesterday's agenda unexpectedly turned out be an application to the SPARC NZ Active Communities Fund for $340,000 to establish Sportsville structure at the Mercury Bay Multi-sport Park, currently under development. TCDC puts in $197,000 over 3 years - allegedly from MC Parks and Reseerves budget. We can certainly finds money for some things!

All was well as the Mercury Bay Area Manager, Leslie McCormick, made her presentation until sudenly an anguished squeal emerged from Tony Brljevich - he had apparently been assured earlier that the application would be a joint effort with Coromandel, and he had only found out when the papers came out that this was not now the case. Apparently Leslie had been told by email (though this was not at all clear) that a joint application would not succeed, but she had inadvertently failed to advise Tony and the Coromandel Sport Trust people. Oh boy, you don;'t do that to Tony and get away with it. Leslie was contrite, but the cat was out of the bag, and Tony was after blood.

Of course, this is by no means the first time that this Area Manager has caused embarrassment - it was her little 'stuff-up' that was at the heart of the Dirk Sieling leasing situation during the last Council. She came out of that smelling of roses only because of apparent support by Steve Ruru, but I believe that she may have been on her last warning. She is certainly in the gun this time around, and I would not be surprised to see that her position is one of the first to go. Leach made noises, and Hammond indulged in some pointed head-nodding.

What was more interesting was that Leach bullied Tony into submission after he attempted to get the matter adjourned until later in the day so as get the motion altered to reflect the needs of Coromandel. Contrary to Standing Orders, Leach accepted a brand new separate motion supporting Coromandel. No reasons were provided as to why this late motion was permitted as required under Standing Orders, and no-one bothered to object, or point out to Leach his little mistake.  This is pretty well par for the course. He just bullies and dominates proceedings in such a way that few are prepared to have him on in this regard - even the ultimate "point of order" expert - Cr Hoadley.

The original motion passed with 2 opposed - Tony, and Jack Wells, who voted against because of "the absence of a business case" - he is right of course - the whole thing was 'mickey mouse', and presented in a 'mickey mouse' manner. The excuse provided was that the closing day is tomorow, as if that excused getting into what looks to me like another 'open-ended' boondoggle.






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