Sideshow Bob Parker and his council supporters, including Councillor's Sue Wells and Barry Corbett, have approved a timetable for offering the hopeless Dave Henderson first refusal on the five central city sites he sold to the Christchurch City Council for an over-valued $17 million last year.
This is despite the fact that the so-called 'urban visionary' is in debt up to his neck and is in court again next week when yet another creditor will seek to wind up his company Property Ventures.
Henderson is hanging on by the skin of his teeth, yet Mayor Sideshow Bob and his merry band of council supporters - and city council CEO Tony Marryatt - are still bending over backwards to help the guy out.
This isn't something Hendo himself is inclined to do with his many angry creditors. Instead they are subject to the usual Hendo tactics of denying he owes anything, delaying tactics, blaming someone else, etc.
Henderson will have first right of refusal to buy back the sites at whichever is the highest price between market value or the price paid by the council, including any expenses incurred.
At least Councillors Chrissie Williams, Yani Johanson and Helen Broughton continue to fight the good fight on behalf of the good people of Christchurch.
Cr Helen Broughton says offering Henderson the buyback option was unpleasant.
"It is like swallowing a dead rat and I am finding it very hard to do," she told The Press.
She also pointed out that the council or, more specifically, the ratepayer could lose money on any sales because of the plunging property market.
Of course the big plus for us all is that Hendo doesn't actually have any money and the days when easy money was available from obliging finance companies has long gone
New Zealand's finance sector has pretty well collapsed and one of the few remaining finance companies - Hanover Finance - lent Hendo some $70 million for his ill-fated Five Mile Village project near Queenstown. Hanover's thousands of disgruntled investors would like to see some of that money back.
Tony Maryatt has admitted that if Hendo can't buy back the properties the council would have to sell them on the open market - but he has also said that they might give the hapless Hendo some more time to raise the cash! Maryatt must be in cloudcuckooland if he thinks there's anyone left in New Zealand who would be crazy enough to lend Henderson a few more million bucks.
Meanwhile Sideshow Bob, showing his usual contempt for the democratic process, has ignored calls from Councillors Chrissie Williams, Yani Johanson and Broughton that more public consultation was needed on the 'Master Plan' for the redevelopment of the inner city.
Apparently Sideshow Bob knows best. So there!