Staffs at the Hastings and Napier Councils uncorked the champagne today when agreement was finally reached on a consistent schedule of fines for parking violations in the two districts.
The effort to make fines consistent has been regarded as a signature project of the Bill Dalton-Wayne Bradshaw Shared Services Rescue Initiative, launched four years ago to propel the Bay into a better future. At the time, Councillor Dalton proclaimed: “Our motto is think small, accomplish less, go unnoticed”.
However, disagreement between the the fourteen staff members on the Joint Working Party on Parking Fines (JWPPF) immediately stalled progress on the project. The situation was not helped when each council commissioned consultant reports, peer reviewed of course, that made sharply differing recommendations. The reports have been kept secret for “competitive” reasons, but BayBuzz has learned that Hastings wanted to base severity of parking fines on the length of transgression, whilst Napier preferred a system based on vehicle weight.
Six months ago, Police officials recommended the matter be decided by coin toss, but the staffs, urged on by Councillors Dalton and Bradshaw, vowed to work more constructively to break the impasse, meeting as frequently as twice weekly (depending upon consultant availability). Said Councillor Bradshaw: “We emphasized to the staff, if we can’t solve this one, how can we possibly deal with the huge challenges, like joint procurement of ballpoint pens?”
In any event, ratepayers can now relax, because — after a professionally-moderated weekend retreat at Cape Kidnappers — the parking fine dispute has been resolved. Reflecting true out-of-the-box thinking, the two Councils have simply agreed to a range of parking fines. “Yes, our fines will still be different,” beamed Councillor Dalton, “but they will fall within an agreed upon range. This will allow us to procure one set of signs for both jurisdictions.”
New parking signs will be installed throughout Hastings and Napier by the end of August, assuming appropriate consents are awarded by the Regional Council.
Here is a sneak preview …