Monash Council: 3 gripes, 2 compliments

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!

We welcome YOUR comments – click on the “leave a comment” button above.  All comments are moderated before posting.

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?
Monash Council
Monash Council meetings are open to the public. EM&U encourages YOU to attend one BEFORE voting in 2016.

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:

  • Click the “follow” button on the left hand panel to get an email every time there is a new post on this site.
  • Send the URL of this page to a friend or neighbour who would like to vote responsibly in next year’s Council election.
  • Make sure YOU know which Ward you are in and who your representative on Monash Council is.
Are Glen Waverley Councillors tuned into what is happening in their Ward?
Are Glen Waverley Councillors tuned into what is happening in their Ward?


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Feedback leads to web site improvement and call for writers about Council

Recently Empowering Monash & YOU ran an online survey.  We are pleased with the results and are now taking the following action:

  • updating the web site on an ongoing basis
  • calling for writers on Monash Council and local governance matters

A very big thank you to Harik who ran the survey, collated results and is now working on the web site.

Feedback on web site

Feedback on the web site was positive with some comments about users’ lack of computer skills.  Harik is working on new images and tabs to make the site easier to navigate.

Feedback on the content

Responses indicated users want more information on the following areas (listed in order with topics with most requests  first)

  • Monash Council meetings
  • City of Monash
  • Council
  • Local Government
  • Elections
  • Aged Care
  • Health
  • Advocacy
  • Others including conservation, environment and city planning, how council money is spent

    What are the most important environmental and sustainability issues in Monash for you? Have you had your say?
    What are the most important environmental and sustainability issues in Monash for you? Have you had your say?

A few comments which represent the views expressed in survey responses

“Written in plain English and clear”

“Information and headings have clarity”

“[the website] is welcoming and clear”

“The look is less important to me than information and ideas”

“…sometimes I don’t have the background others would have”

“The more who know about and get involved in what is happening in Monash the better”

“It is an important forum in Monash for keeping the community aware of what is happening in our municipality…”

“Have informed everyone I know in Monash about the web site and encouraged them to stay tuned for unbiased information about what is happening in Monash”

“more on issues that are not in the best interest of the public and how the public money is spent”

“GetUP! does it well – with far greater reach and resources of course”

Public gallery overflow September 2013 - were constituents being heard?  Are constituents being heard in 2015?
Public gallery overflow September 2013 – were constituents being heard? Are you, a constituent, being heard in 2015?

Writers on Council matters needed!

Most responses indicated a need for a less sanitised view of Council matters i.e. they want to know what other community members, without vested interests think.  There is a Council election in 2016 so getting multiple viewpoints out into the community is important.

To meet the needs of EM & U web site readers we need more people to  help report on Council matters. If you have a well supported view on a Council matter then we will consider publishing your post.  The best place to start is by attending Council meetings – the next meeting is on April 28, 7.30 pm.

ALL posts will be approved by the web sites administrators before posting and any views considered to be out of line with the approach and values of EM&U will NOT be published.  The administrators reserve the right to refuse publication of any post for any reason.

Builders at work in a residential side street
Housing in Monash is a changing scene. Liveable houses are being pulled down and there is a marked increase in multi-storey dwellings. Have you had your say?

Ongoing Feedback

EM&U welcomes ongoing feedback.  Use the ‘leave a comment’ button at the top of this page.  Comments are approved by the administrators before publication.

Green Waverley: Research supports a green space for diverse uses

With more criticism of Council this week over spending $$$ on one of the larger cultural groups within Monash, (see http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/monash-council-defends-decision-to-spend-37000-on-free-lunch-for-greek-easter/story-fngnvlxu-1227308571917) the value of an open space where many cultural groups can interact informally becomes apparent.

At least two community groups are calling for Central Car Park in Glen Waverley to be an open space for the purpose of interaction between cultural groups.

Many in the community are expressing outrage at the high rise development planned for the central area. High rise development planning is excessive, does not meet the needs of people living in the area and has ignored community views. Social isolation and health issues are a likely consequence of intensive high rise living. The community are asking for a place to unite, to come together with others from their own and different cultural groups. A place where no one group has control and smaller groups have equal access.

The call for open space (“neutral ground’) to support interaction between the different cultural groups is supported by research:

Research by Dunnett, Swanwick and Woolley (2002) found that local residents often identify green spaces as the centre of their community (see Improving Urban Parks, Play Areas and Green Spaces). By using outdoor spaces to formally and informally bring together people from a variety of cultures, ages, ethnicities and classes, urban green spaces increase social integration and interaction among local residents. Such spaces encourage a diverse range of uses – some of which stem from culture – and serve as “neutral ground,” according to Swanwick, Dunnett and Woolley (see “Nature, Role and Value of Green Space in Towns and Cities: An Overview,” in Built Environment, 2002, 29(2)). Open, accessible green spaces are essential for local people to maintain cultural identity and build social ties.

Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/sustainability/2014/02/26/urban_parks/

There are various views on how such open space could be designed, but much agreement that it should be a place for the people. There are multiple options on how this could be achieved and ideas include:

View from IKON over Central car park - will this become a view over more high rise development?
View from IKON over Central car park 2014.  If current plans are implemented this will be a view to multi-storey  buildings.  Many community members would like it to be a view to a green a leafy park – a place for the people.

What views do you have? How will  high rise development affect the community in Monash?

Related Links:

Green Waverley: may we have some green space?

Central Car Park development may pave way for cultural inclusivity

Opening Doors program 2015 – Applications Closing Soon!

Would you like to become more involved in your community?

Do you want to meet like-minded people who are passionate about making a difference?

Are you passionate about a particular issue, such as mental health, disability or positive aging?

Are you willing to take the lead in making your community more inclusive?

The Opening Doors Program is currently seeking community members from Monash, Boroondara, Whitehorse and Manningham who are passionate about their local area, and would like to make a difference in the lives of people who may be socially isolated. The 2015 Program will run for 6 months with a graduation ceremony to be held in December. Over the course of the program, you will meet and work with a passionate group of like-minded people, learn about your own talents as a community member and leader, and develop the skills to make a real and lasting difference in your local community. The program is provided FREE to community members in the Inner-East of Melbourne. It is open to people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and abilities.

For further information about the Opening Doors Program, please contact:

Alex Mills
Project Officer
Opening Doors – A Community Leadership Program For Social Inclusion
P: 8822 8489  E: alex.mills@iepcp.org.au
Information source: Inner East Primary Care Partnership

Green Waverley: the healthy alternative

GayleVN & HarikNG
Administrators 

Empowering Monash & YOU

https://monashandyou.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Empowering-Monash-You/424421444368312

Opening Doors 2015 Flyer.pdf

2015 Application Form.doc

New rating system to rate Independent Living Providers – Living Well Navigator’s Owl Ratings

Introducing Living Well Navigator’s Owl Ratings

Owl ratings

Looking for a retirement village and not sure where to start? Living Well Navigator’s Owl Ratings is the place to go. It’s an Australian first; an innovative online resource based on what residents of individual villages say matters to them most.

via Introducing Living Well Navigator’s Owl Ratings.

In the future they will extend the owl rating to home care services and residential aged care.

What to know more click on link provided or watch video