Someone Can’t Allocate a Budget Properly?
Tonight I am going in and giving a shout out to a person who is in an awkward situation: The Chair of the Manurewa Local Board.
I am publishing his Facebook comment on Auckland Council cocking funding towards Local Boards. A story was even run at Stuff to which the mayor admitted the cock-up in that article. You can read the Stuff article here: Funding `whoopsie’ leaves budget hole
A brief introduction to the article (actually here is the whole article):
Confusion over what millions of ratepayer dollars should pay for has left a gaping hole in one local board’s budget.
Earlier this month the Manurewa Local Board chose not to fund the Auckland Botanic Gardens Festival and Southside Gig, worth $1.7 million over 10 years, because of funding pressures.
But last Wednesday the Auckland Council’s strategy and finance committee voted 12-11 to take $1.7 million out of the board’s budget and fund the two events.
Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina says he was told the money was given to the local board in error so it should be given back to allow both events to go ahead.
“It’s like the Westpac bank giving someone $10 million by mistake.”
But before the vote, council officers told the meeting they had reviewed both events and decided it was up to the local board to fund them rather than the council.
“If the local board decides not to go ahead with it, that’s their decision.”
After the vote, officers informed councillors cuts would have to be made to the Manurewa board’s budget because of the decision.
Manurewa Local Board chairman Daniel Newman says the funding cut is a huge setback.
“The decision means we are now much worse off. It really has ripped the guts out of our 10-year budget.”
The cuts mean funding that pays for Nathan Homestead’s opening hours or the future development of Totara Park could be affected, he says.
The decision was also unpopular with some local board members from other areas, who heckled councillors from the public gallery.
“You’ve stolen money from a local board,” they shouted.
Mayor Len Brown says he hopes those kind of “whoopsies” won’t happen again.
“Both sides were mistaken as to what was intended.”
Mr Brown voted against stripping the local board of the money.
This is what the Chair of that Local Board had to say – complete with comments underneath. [A note with Facebook: VOAKL will publish Facebook remarks that are marked "Public" (indicated by the little globe symbol next to when the post was posted). I will not publish Facebook remarks from "non public" settings unless I have permission from the poster. With a "public" posts I follow the "fair-game" rule, so if you do not want your public comment here in VOAKL, then don't post on a public posting...]
VOAKL supports Newman in his challenge to the Mayor – especially when someone Council acts politically (Alf Filipaina) or just being inept (the Officers?)
Your Move next Len