Complaint made against Vandervis

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
Dunedin city councillor and mayoral candidate Lee Vandervis is the subject of a fresh complaint, after becoming embroiled in another verbal altercation with a Dunedin City Council staff member.

The councillor already has 11 complaints against him this term.

The latest incident occurred last week.

The Otago Daily Times has been told by several sources Cr Vandervis received a parking ticket last week, and went to the council's customer services reception to complain it was unfair.

While he was there, an exchange with a female staff member descended into shouting by Cr Vandervis, the ODT was told.

A complaint about Cr Vandervis' conduct has since been filed.

The complaint was being considered by council chief executive Sue Bidrose, who would not comment yesterday.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull confirmed, when contacted, he was aware of the incident and the complaint.

"[Staff] will be dealing with it according to the rules around code of conduct complaints," he said.

"That's the chief executive's responsibility to organise that, and I assume that is how she'll be dealing with it.

"Given it's the subject of a complaint, I wouldn't want to comment for fear of prejudicing the investigation - from both points of view."

Cr Vandervis ignored ODT requests for comment yesterday, but posted his explanation - and an email to Dr Bidrose complaining about the ticket - on social media.

He said he had paid for an hour's parking and returned within the time allowed to find a parking officer writing out a ticket, who claimed - despite signage advertising a $4 an hour rate - it was a P30 zone.

Cr Vandervis said the officer refused to cancel the ticket and instead directed him to the council's customer services desk.

There, Cr Vandervis said he encountered a "very unpleasant" staff member who "refused to listen to my parking complaint, saying that I had to make complaints in writing" and would not look at a photo he had taken of the particular parking machine.

He did not say whether he had shouted at the staff member, but pointed out "they were all female".

Cr Vandervis, in his email to Dr Bidrose, also demanded his ticket be cancelled and that other changes were made "promptly" to rectify the situation.

It was "disappointing that I now am spending so much more of my valuable time" complaining about the issue, he added.



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