'Extraordinary Council Meeting' - Wednesday!
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 3:10PM
Bill Barclay

An Extraordinanry Meeting has been called for Wednesday - this is unusual, and the agenda contains nothing of any great import other than consideration of a new Maritime Facilities By-law - no obvious reason why it could not have waited until the 28 October meeting.

Then is the perennial Satisfaction Survey conducted by the National Research Bureau - a piece of ego-boosting, back-slapping nonsense that was initiated by the previous Council, and is of very limited value. Surely they have not called a EGM for the purpose of preening themselves over that? But who knows - perhaps that is exactly what it is.

Next comes an alteration to the CEO financial delegation that removes financial oversight one further (or maybe two!) steps further away from Councillors. 

"The Mayor has suggested an overall cap for unbudgeted expenditure on an annual basis with caps for individual work packages. If for example the overall cap for unbudgeted works in a given year was $100,000 with individual projects capped at $20,000 then five unbudgeted projects could be undertaken without the Chief Executive needing to seek a council resolution for more funding."
This is the proposal:
"Approves the following financial delegation to the Chief Executive with quarterly reporting to the Audit Committee of all over-expenditure and unbudgeted expenditure within the delegation:
  1. Authority to allow for variations within an operating unit budget or activity budget, also known as reallocation of budgets (with the exception of the interest and depreciation budget and associated expenditure).
  2. Authority to over expend on operating expenditure by 2% on operating unit budgets with a maximum across all operating units of $10,000
  3. Authority to over expend on operating expenditure by 2% locally funded activitybudgets with a maximum across all locally funded activities for each Community Board area of $10,000
  4. Authority to over expend on operating expenditure by 5% on district funded activitybudgets with a maximum overspend of $50,000 across all district funded activities.
  5. Authority to over expend on capital expenditure projects by 2% for locally funded activity budgets and over expend by 5% for district funded activity budgets with the following limiters:
    • Maximum over-spend across all locally funded activities for each CommunityBoard area of $10,000
    • Maximum over-spend across all operating unit budgets of $10,000
    • Maximum over-spend across all district funded activities of $50,000

6. Authority to approve unbudgeted expenditure (either operating or capital expenditure) within a financial year to the following amounts:
    • Up to $15,000 on one project/workstream/work package for a locally funded activity per Community Board area
    • Up to $15,000 on one project/workstream/work package across the operating units
    • Up to $50,000 on one project/workstream/work package across the district funded activities"

It is one of those measures that seems on the surface to be eminently practical, and ease up on bureaucratic process, but appearances can be deceiving. I have never known one of these proposals in the past that was anything other than an attempt to remove expenditure control away from the Council itself into the hands of the bureaucrats.

If I was a councillor, I would be treating this proposal with 'kid-gloves'  - especially as it has come from Leach.

Then, a further Resolution to enable staff to "Develop a Project Document to be approved by Council for the Heritage Region Project." Well it seems that Goudie's insistence of it coming back to Council has been followed. But just what dampening effect the rebuff from WRC will have on the project is not clear.

Last but not least - another Public Excluded item to "Approve the Coromandel Harbour Facilities Budget. This is totally indefensible - no Council should be approving budgets behind closed doors - I am not sure that the LGA allows such a thing. It is certainly unusual, and very bad practicew, but that has never put this Council off doing what it wants to do. I will check the LGA this evening. 

I am still not convinced that any of this requires a ECM - I guess we need to wait and see what comes up under "Items not on the Agenda."




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