Archive for category Biased Council
Waverley Leaders’ “Budget on for young and old” and “Call for new Men’s Shed” 1 Jul 2014 articles:
The Mayor is missing great understanding of Council’s very financially healthy position, or simply don’t know how to read financial statements. Cr Rob Davies was a stock broker, and he appears to be the only Councillor who knows the real Budget facts. However, groupthink and political rivalry have once again influenced Council decision making in June, resulting in the carried biased and irrational decision to increase rates by 6%, which is technically unwarranted, in order to better serve the interests of those who voted for the rate rise. Their arguments hold no facts and best value evidence.
The community believes that the groupthink decision is all about cashing up for future mega capital project/s, whose decisions is/are already made up since last year. In the future, the community will be seeing more premeditated decision making acting to disguise biased decision making as unbiased by complying to the letter of the law, for big ticket spends like the Glen Waverley Library & Community Hub. The premeditated decision making acting has so many give away clues – the latest one is the Mayor and groupthink Councillors are now planning to get involved in operating matters (which is outside their Council roles), such as changing the parking times and arrangements in the Euvena Carpark, which, believe it or not, does not have a best value justification since it was completed more than a year ago!
This is the bad state of poor governance budget games being played to manipulate future budget allocations. However the practice is artfully protected by bureaucracy engineered compliance to the letter of the law, never mind the spirit of the law is broken.
Budget don’t lie, People do:
The hard evidence that says Council’s working capital over 150% and unrestricted cash reserves of $28m to $44.5 mio over the 3-4 years) – what is this bullshit that the Mayor is saying that the “perception that Council has reaped extra as a result of revaluing properties was a great misunderstanding“ .
The statement is deliberately designed to distract people from the truth – a typical politician’s spin to mislead people from focusing on the hard budget facts. It is common anecdotal knowledge in the community that Council is so very well cashed up as a result of selling the aged care, and groupthink members are cooking some future mega spends with the large unrestricted cash reserves.
Either the press misquoted the Mayor, or the Mayor can’t understand what the Local Government Customer Satisfaction Survey results say – Monash Council shucks in community engagement, then advocacy and decision making is another major bad performance – declining and poor performance has been happening for 2 years already, the worst ever results is under this Mayoralty!
Just read the press about what the Mayor says and control decision making that rather spends money on consultant reports than to fund real actions that deliver real tangible benefits to the community.
The 2014 performance result of Council is just released – click here for details. Under bad leaders, the Council has gone backwards in its performance during the last 3 years, especially 2014. In any year, the leadership of Councillors, especially the Mayor, is the primary cause of Council’s poor performance. As part of a bad leadership culture, it is easier to blame it on others, which still goes on – see Council official response to explaining the bad results:
The aged care matter only highlighted what are already growing governance issues in Council’s decision making. If not for the high impact protests, people think that the outcome would be worst – the community pressure at least made Councillors choose a buyer that is non for profit and not for the highest bidder, as originally would have happened as money was the reason for selling. The experience for the first Clarinda aged care facility sold did not have a good outcome for the aged residents, because the community were unaware and did not respond to the sale decision. Councillors thought selling the Monash & Elizabeth aged care facilities would be a piece of cake, but the consequences turned otherwise. The community did not disfavor the decision to sell, provided there was a business case and if community participation in decision making was fostered.
No instead, the Mayor and Councillors refused to disclose the business case (because they have not considered all other options and hence there is no business case); closed too many decision point meetings that raises too many transparency issues and their community engagement behaviours and actions were not sincere and were terse. Simply put, the aged care matter only magnified the real causes of Council’s performance issues – ie lack of good governance values in Council’s leadership behaviors, community engagement and decision making – the evidence revealed in the community’s report – Poor Governance by Monash Council 16 Jan 2014. Poor leadership is another main cause. The aged care incident only manifested the symptoms that reveal about our city leadership quality and how Councillors govern decision making that continues to fail to including community participation; disclosing best value business case, fostering transparent decision discussions; showing unbiased decision making, etc.
Disengaging Council: The Evidence
All Councillors, under the leadership of the prevailing Mayor, are primarily responsible for performance in community consultation and advocacy as they are the front end people who make or break these service levels. However Council staff are more influential in affecting customer service and overall council direction as its their operational and management competencies that sets the service levels in these areas – good compliment to staff. Unfortunately, staff are often collateral damage as a result of Councillors’ leadership and/or organisational incompetence.
Worst Service Performers:
Finally, the truth is out , that Monash Council’s decision making sucks – it commonly known, although Councillors refuse to believe, that their decision making culture fosters biased decision making, often incited by party politics and group-think premeditated directions, lacks best value qualification, transparency and implementation achievement accountability. Keep closing Council meetings and this performance will worsen their performance further and we shall see how many more closed meetings will be advocated by the Mayor this year.
27 May 2014 Council Meeting, item 7.3 : The community has no problems with the Mayor making a motion that slammed the Federal Government for freezing the Financial Assistance Grant for all Councils. He estimated that this federal decision ” impact Monash with a shortfall of $378K over 3 years (estimated increase not allocated 2.5%)” and concluded that the following implications:
24 June Council Meeting, item 7.5: Oops the Mayor while hastily condemned the federal government’s FAG freeze in May, he made a wrong estimate of the impact. He admitted apology and corrected the size of impact:
The Monash community has leadership issues: here we have a Mayor who:
- Reacts to very opportunity that gives him and his ALP peers to attack the opposition party – no wonder we have party and groupthink politics influence this Council’s decision making, not in the interest of the community;
- Takes every opportunity as an excuse to justify rates hikes, hoping there is sufficient build up excuses to ask for more than 6% (don’t forget we have a very financial healthy Council will more than 150% working capital ratio and between $23 million to $44.5 million of unrestricted cash for the next 4 years). Remember he said the same thing about funeral mourners who won the court case not to pay parking fines when the Council brought them to court);
- Doesn’t get his facts right when making decision – as a Mayor this is NO excuse, hence the apology is not acceptable as the community of Monash deserves highly competent leaders as Mayor (and Councillors) – this signals a lot about the quality of Mayoralty leadership in the city.
The quality of his leadership is summarized in the poor Council’s 2014 performance: