Economic Development Committee
Friday, August 1, 2014 at 2:00PM
Bill Barclay

Ben Day's Operation Report to the Committee at its meeting on 18 July contained some pearlers that bear repeating here.

In relation to the Thames Timber receivership, he notes that:

"Thames Coromandel District Council already has rates remissions available for residents struggling with rates, and the Mayor is investigating a hardship fund for both Thames Timber staff and residents affected by the June storm."

That as far as I am aware is the first mention of these two possibilities. Watch this space, because the level of financial commitment being built up around this Council is beginning to become a real concern. 

Then:

"Business Grants

Council approved the Economic Development Committee to administer the 2014/15 Business Grant process and also retrospectively approved the 2013/14 awarding of the business grant." 

 

What this indicates is that Mr Day realised that the 2013/14 allocation was illegal inasmuch as it was made as the result of his decision alone, and that the grant to Guru Digital was never approved at the time by Council, was in fact illegal, and required a "retrospective approval."

 

I have had no reply to date to my letter to the Ombudsman dated 8 July 2014, but it would seem that we have the answer we required without his/her intervention. 

 

Then:

 

"Leadfoot Festival

Thames Coromandel District Council staff and members of the Economic Development committee have been working closely with the Millen's during May/June in order that the event is structured securely and its future as an international event is possible"

 

That appears to provide proof of the direct involvement of Council staff in this private Festival. At the risk of being accused of being 'anti-development', I will state here and now that in my view this involvement is  inappropriate, unfair and unjustified.

 

And:

 

"The Economic Development Programme Manager position was re advertised in mid-June. This is the third attempt at recruiting the 'right person'. Closing date is the 4 July 2014 with interviews on the 10 and 11 July 2014.   

The opportunity exists for additional operational support to be recruited should the Economic Development Programme Manager position be filled under budget. If this is possible the focus will be on events management support, research administration and developing community partnerships".

 

The expansion of this bureaucracy proceeds apace, and Mr Day's need for "additional operational support" appears limitless. Where will all end?

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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