A Christchurch City Council internal report has, among other things, raised more questions as to why Tony Marryatt was reappointed CEO and why he is worth a salary of more than half a million dollars.
Despite promising at the last mayoral election that he would be more 'transparent' and 'accountable', Sideshow Bob and the Christchurch City Council have been sitting on this report since January last year. It has emerged in the public arena only after the Canterbury earthquakes royal commission demanded it be submitted as evidence.
Its hardly surprising that Sideshow Bob wasn't keen to release it. It reveals that the Christchurch City Council shockingly didn't recognise the seriousness of the September 2010 quake and responded in a haphazard and ab hoc manner.
Indeed the report basically blasts the council as incompetent. It says council relied on a new overworked and under-resourced team, called the building evaluation transition (BET) team, to evaluate dangerous buildings.
The BET team made the Keystone Cops look professional. It communicated poorly with the council and the public, losing files and sometimes giving conflicting and "embarrassing" advice. There is no evidence that Tony Marryatt intervened to address the situation.
The team also exceeded its original mandate, operating for 12 weeks instead of three and costing ratepayers $50,000 a week. Again, where was Tony Marryatt? Where was Sideshow Bob? Was everyone simply asleep at the wheel?
The report is very critical of the council's response to the 2010 Boxing Day quake commenting that it seemed more concerned about opening the central city bars and restaurants. Meanwhile those of us living in the hard-hit eastern suburbs were deemed to be of secondary importance. But at the time Sideshow Bob denied that people in the Eastside were being treated as second class citizens.
There was no attempt to secure dangerous buildings or even clear fresh rubble from the streets, the report also says.
It points out that buildings that were classified as 'safe' later collapsed in the February quake. it has already been revealed the council incorrectly cleared a green-stickered part of a building after September 4 that collapsed in the February 22 quake, killing one of the occupants.
Sideshow Bob's response has been laughable. He insists that this wasn't a fiasco - just part of 'a learning curve' for the Christchurch City Council. Yes, council officers losing files and a CEO seemingly missing in action can all be chalked down to the vagaries of Bob's nonsensical 'learning experience'.
Despite this damning report, its a fair bet that no one will be held accountable. Sideshow Bob will look after his council chums and Quake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will protect Sideshow Bob. The stench of cronyism is all pervasive.