Last night’s Monash Council meeting left me insulted and angry. Work by our strong Councillors and any good moves the Council makes are soon overshadowed by rude, aggressive and unprofessional conduct by a group of Councillors.
Feedback we received at EM&U indicates YOU want to know more about Council see: (Feedback leads to web site improvements and call for writers about Council) so I have shared my own perception of last night’s meeting in this post: “3 gripes, 2 compliments”.
There is a Council election NEXT YEAR. A better deal for the local community may well depend on how YOU vote. Be informed!
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GRIPE 1: Rude and aggressive conduct of Councillors
Once again, a Councillor presented a view contrary to other Councillors and was subjected to an aggressive, nasty and totally unprofessional onslaught. Our Mayor Paul Klisaris had earlier muttered “just what we expected” when Cr Robert Davies voted against the rest of the group. This time an individual vote was followed with a rampage: “I don’t believe this has just happened in this Council!” and apologies (to whom?). Why? Whether you agree with Cr Davies or not he was stating a viewpoint held by some constituents in Monash.
Cr Geoff Lake was quick to take up the chase and belligerently pursued the matter. Jumping to his feet for his onslaught he wrongly paraphrased what Cr Davies had said. Fortunately the Young Leaders Group, which had been dined by Council, had left. This was not an example of good conduct for tomorrow’s leaders!
The whole experience was unpleasant for the public gallery. A member of the gallery who tried to interject was told she would be removed. It appears it is alright for the Councillors to behave badly and without sanction but not the public.
Time and time again the public sit through appalling exhibitions like this.
Is this how we want OUR elected representatives to behave?
COMPLIMENT 1: Seeking professional advice before voting
Cr Bill Pontikis professionally sought further information about a planning permit for a former quarry. He questioned the Council staff present to make sure he was clear about the issues involved before he casted his vote. (I doubt whether he was aware of the mocking looks he was receiving behind his back from another Councillor trying to belittle his professional approach.)
Well done Cr Bill Pontikis. The public note your professional approach.
Should you attend a Council meeting to watch the candidates in your Ward to make sure you are clear about who you are voting for?
GRIPE 2: Disinterest of Glen Waverley Councillors
The annual budget is a major item on the Council agenda. As the draft budget was tabled last night Councillors from Mulgrave, Mt Waverley and Oakleigh Wards all stood to talk enthusiastically about projects requested by the people in their wards that had been funded. Once again, the Glen Waverley Ward Councillors did NOT refer to any specific allocation for a project in their ward.
Do you know which Ward you are in? If not click on the City of Monash Wards link to find out: Link to City of Monash Wards
How will you decide on who to vote for as your representative at the Council election in 2015?
COMPLIMENT 2: Rate relief for pensioners
My complement goes to the Councillors who spoke to MORE THAN a $50 a year decrease in rates for pensioners. The increase in HACC (help in your own home) costs (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-18/concerns-growing-over-dramatic-changes-in-home-care-for-seniors/6402120) and rate increases through rises in property values will hit aged residents HARD.
I apologise for not noting which Councillors spoke to this. We would be happy to post your names if you let EM&U know you support a larger deduction in pensioners rates.
Councillors please note a senior is NOT a pensioner.
Is your Councillor representing your viewpoint in Council?
GRIPE 3: Lack of community attendance at Council meetings
2016, NEXT YEAR, is the next Council election. YOUR vote counts. Yet the public gallery is nearly empty at every Council meeting.
I urge YOU to go along to AT LEAST ONE Council meeting between 26 MAY 2015 and OCTOBER 2016. Monash constituents need to take on the responsibility of ensuring the next Council is one Monash can be proud of.
Will you make YOUR vote in 2016 count?
There are more gripes and compliments from last night’s meeting but this is all I have time to report. Add yours to the comments by clicking on “Leave a Comment” at the top of the post. All comments are moderated by the site administrators.
FOR YOU TO DO:
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- Make sure YOU know which Ward you are in and who your representative on Monash Council is.