The Mayor finally discusses her ‘big picture’

A new story.  At last we thought the Mayor was going to address the big picture and get down to the issues that really matter to citizens and ratepayers.  Our optimism was misplaced however.  Actually she was quite lterally talking about a “big picture”.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast wants to create a mecca for urban street art on lower Cuba St which would become a gateway to Wellington’s bohemian quarter.

The plan would see spraycan-wielding artists create “living” street art – not tagging or graffiti – on private buildings, as well as on public property and fixtures.

What do readers think about this idea and are there other more important things we should be debating at this late stage in the campaign.  Personally I agree with Celia Wade-Brown that Opera Street Lane is the one that needs serious attention. I digress.

Outside the world of politics and press releases, Wellingtonians think there are some serious issues which need to be addressed.  The DomPost reported:

Prudent financial leadership and a focus on core infrastructure such as roading and rubbish collection are the key election issues for voters, a poll shows.

A Dominion Post poll reveals which issues the region’s voters consider most important as Saturday’s local body polling deadline approaches.

The Futurescape poll of 714 Dominion Post readers asked voters to rate 10 issues in terms of importance. Rates and council spending top the list, with 96 per cent of respondents labelling this issue important or very important. Next is infrastructure such as parking, sewerage, water and rubbish, with 95 per cent. Roading and transport issues (93 per cent) come third.

Leadership (87 per cent) and business/economy (87 per cent) also rate highly. However, law and order (82 per cent) and environmental issues (85 per cent) have slipped in importance since the 2007 election – perhaps indicating the effect of the recession.

The poll also found that many voters aren’t voting because they don’t think the council is listening to them.

It also raises serious questions about the level of confidence voters have in their elected representatives, and widespread concerns about councils not listening to constituents.”

This is something the next Mayor and council definately have to fix.

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14 responses to “The Mayor finally discusses her ‘big picture’

  1. The mayor has never listened.

    Anyway there are no issues – the mayor is on the record as having said that in the last couple of weeks.

  2. I wonder what John Bishop makes of the Mayor’s ‘great’ new idea. He put out a press release on graffiti in September.

    Action on graffiti: a new initiative.

    Lambton Ward candidate John Bishop has come up with a scheme to help eliminate graffiti by enrolling householders to paint out graffiti as soon as it appears.
    And a Wellington utility company that constantly suffers from graffiti attacks is willing to take the idea forward. “Everyone hates graffiti and many of us feel powerless to do anything about it, Mr Bishop said.
    http://issues.co.nz/johnbishopforcouncil/Action%20on%20graffiti:%20a%20new%20initiative.

    The mayor will be spraying it up and John will be painting it over.

  3. Not quite Johnny. Organsied graffiti art placed where it is appropriate is fine. Random tagging is not. We have both in Highbury. My initative would tackle the tagging, not the properly placed and sanctioned art.

  4. Greetings – your correspondent, ‘V’ (and of course we know who he really is) believes he has the good oil on the Council but sadly he knows far less than he likes to make out.
    As we have posted, ad nauseum, on the likes of the Scoop website, the Council’s weekly Our Wellington page costs nothing like $14,500 a week (he only has to consider the discounts that accrue from booking the same space week-in, week-out). Of course neither the Council or, we presume, Fairfax, would be happy to be specific about the exact cost as it is, of course, a commercial agreement, but I reiterate that we do not pay anywhere near what your correspondent estimates.
    The likes of ‘V’ appear to fantasise about some sort of comfy relationship between the Council and the DomPost. Of course the Council and the DomPost have a relationship but I wouldn’t decribe it as comfy.
    This ‘comfy’ myth appears partly based on the content on the weekly Our Wellington page. The content tends toward the positive – this, we have seen, enrages ‘V’ and some other people. Nothing we say in our defence can sway them from their opinion that the Our Wellington page is extravagant, propaganda, a waste of ratepayers’ money etc etc. The main reason the page exists is to save money on advertising. Consolidating as much advertising as possible on one page is an easy way to cut down costs but, of course, this is lost on ‘V’.
    The content on the page is positive – but the other main reason for the page is to give coverage to issues or developments that the local media won’t touch (usually because it doesn’t meet their requirements for newsworthiness) but which the Council nevertheless considers important for people to know about. Some people also appear to think the DomPost has a hand in putting the page together. They don’t. It’s an advertisement – all the content comes from the Council. The DomPost simply runs the advert and then, obviously, bills the Council.
    The ‘comfy’ myth also appears based, on my understanding, on the grounds that ‘V’ and his friends frequently petition the DomPost to run stories that attack the Council and, more specifically, the Mayor and individual councillors. It appears the DomPost probably runs the defamation ruler and the fact-checker over these news tips and finds the vast majority of them to be without foundation. Result? They don’t get a run in the paper. Further result? Huge frustration for ‘V’ and his mates.
    Yes, the Council is in daily contact with the DomPost and so, yes, many of us are on first-name terms. The reason there is daily contact is obvious – the DomPost has pages to fill. Other media – whether it be Radio NZ, TV or whatever, are also usually in daily contact. Does this mean we ‘own’ the DomPost or the rest of the media? Of course not – but you’d be wise to double-check with the media.
    Regarding our ‘comfy’ relationship, a lot of the coverage the DomPost has given the Council in recent memory has rightly annoyed us. Their main civic reporter, Dave Burgess, is not in the business of being our friend. But at least he and other journalists from the mainstream media are willing to put their names to their stories and do not resort to anonymous, gutless, blogged comments – as typified by ‘V’ to try to push their own political grudges or grievances.
    cheers
    Richard MacLean – WCC Communications

    • Whether you know who I am or not is of little or no consequence to me.

      Incidentally I “do not have the good oil on council” – I am simply one of number of people who believe that you and your mates on council could do much better.

      If you are not going to stump up with the numbers you spend with the Dom Post then do not criticise the number I suggested.

      What is happening here is a dialogue, ratepayers talking to council and council talking to ratepayers. Pray tell what is wrong with that?

      I do not “frequently petition the DomPost to run stories that attack the Council and, more specifically, the Mayor and individual councillors”.

      Ignorance is not becoming.

      A retraction and an apology may be in order.

      I also should point out to you that as a ratepayer I pay your wages – you would do well to remember that!

      If you do not like the tone of the conversations that go on here then don’t bother writing.

      You have added nothing to the debate today.

      I also note that you did not answer my question – is what you spout on this blog your opinion or council policy.

      If you are not going to answer questions then do not sign your self off as WCC Communications

    • Are you authorised to be releasing this volume of vitriol on this blog as a representative of the WCC, or is this just your own personal opinion?

      Anyway down to business.

      Can you confirm that 4 years ago that Council was authorised to spend $400,000 a year from the Creative Wellington Innovation Capital Budget? Is this true? Yes or no?

      Be careful how you answer. It would not be a good look if the ratepayers were misled.

      I have recently contacted the Dompost and the page price is $17,000 for the page – you now have a page and a half.

      Surely they are not selling you the space at half price – or are they?

      That price was sourced within the last two years.

      Your response in due course would be appreciated.

    • v is Tom Cranney. Often seen loitering around council meetings “getting the good oil”. That said a useful if not misdirected voice who could if he put his mind to it probably come up with some decent approaches to enabling his community. Yet he prefers to hide behind email and anonymous blogs instead.

      • Good one spiderman.

        No loitering is permitted at council meetings you either go or you don’t.

        Get your facts right!

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