Member calls his board a shambles

A member of the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board says the board is a shambles and has abdicated its responsibilities in giving money to a community group last week.

Brian Miller believes the granting of $4500 to the Taieri Community Wellbeing Strategy Group, which aims to promote the Mosgiel and Taieri community, meant the board was handing over its responsibilities to an unelected group.

Other community board members spoken to by The Star said the board had done nothing wrong and worked well.

Mr Miller said the group would overlap the responsibilities of the board and its funding application did not face the same scrutiny other applications did.

''They provided no quotes for what they say they need funding for, and other applications, like the BMX track at Outram, we asked them to go away and come back to us with quotes before we could grant them the funds.''

Though Mr Miller raised his objections at the meeting, he said he had not talked directly to other board members about his concerns.

Board members rarely talked to each other outside meetings, Mr Miller said.

''This would be the worst board I have been on. It's a shambles,'' he said. The group had an unfair advantage because chairman Bill Feather and board member Teresa Christie had been working with it behind the scenes, he said. Mr Feather said both he and Mrs Teresa Christie took no part in the funding decision and a majority of the board voted for it.

The criteria for grants depended on what the money would be used for, and in this case the $4500 was for seed funding to get the group up and running. No other members had the same concerns about the performance of the board as Mr Miller did. Mr Feather said.

''If he has issues with the way we are running the board, then he has the opportunity to bring up those concerns during our meetings,'' he said.

Mrs Christie agreed with Mr Feather and said she supported the group because it was trying to do something people in the community had been asking for.

Board member Martin Dillon also voted against the funding. Mr Dillon said he had issues with the way the funding application had been made, but had no problems with Mr Feather and Mrs Christie being part of the group asking for funding.

Mr Dillon said there was nothing wrong with the way the board was operating and some decisions would not go the way some people wanted, but that was democracy.

Community boards are given $10,000 of discretionary funding each year from the Dunedin City Council, which they are able to spend however they like, according to their own guidelines.

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