War of words over pool

A Mosgiel Community Board member has been labelled as out of touch after he called those pushing for a new Mosgiel pool ''nincompoops'' and ''simpletons''.

Maurice Prendergast made the claims during last week's hearings on the council's draft annual plan, where he slammed a plan to give $30,000 in ratepayer funding to the Taieri Community Facilities Trust to investigate the project.

The multimillion-dollar pool would not happen because the council had made it clear it had no money for new projects and everyone knew that, Mr Prendergast said.

''So why isn't the council telling these nincompoops who dream of the grandeur of a new pool to get stuffed?

"Instead, the council feeds the ego of these simpletons by leading them to believe that their harebrained scheme has merit by slinging them $30,000 of 'drop dead' money.''

Board chairman Bill Feather said Mr Prendergast was entitled to his views, but questioned his board role.

''If he sees his board or his fellow board members in that light, it makes you wonder why he wishes to be part of the organisation.''

The suggestion the project was about feeding the egos of community leaders was false.

''In that respect he is totally out of touch with the community. The community has told us very clearly what their expectations are ...''

Taieri Community Facilities Trust member Geoff Woodcock took issue with the suggestion the project was about inflating egos.

''None of the trust members have sought any recognition for the [Memorial Park] playground development, even refusing to have our names put on the playground plaque or supporters' wall,'' he said.

The trust accepted the council did not have large amounts of money to spare.

''So while Maurice may be correct in his view that a new pool is not viable in the short-term, we believe that we can create a long-term solution and are doing everything in our power to make it a reality.''


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