Archive for category Biased Council

Monash Ratepayers Press Release 12 June 2018:

12 Jun 2018

What do you know about the integrity of Monash Council?

Press Release.jpgMayor Klisaris said that the council is disappointed with the Essential Service Commission (ESC) counter offer of 2.57% average rate rise (instead of the 3.53% council has sought).

The Monash community is even more disappointed with the Mayor’s response that refutes the ESC’s assessment outcomes and generous offer. It is because Monash Council has the financial capacity to absorb the increase in recycling waste costs and still remain in healthy surplus positions.

Yes, the council has not only lied to the ESC, but also its own community.  Mayor Klisaris claimed that the council would deteriorate its financial position, notably reduced liquidity, if it doesn’t increase average rate to 3.57% rate next year.

BUT the mayor also conveniently forget to mention the ESC Decision and Deloitte reports, which reveal misleading and missing information provided by Monash Council in its higher cap rate application, that

  • The council’s 2018/19 financial forecasts projected healthy financial positions for the next 4 years, including having more than ample cash on hand capacity to absorb the annual $1.5 million shortfall in recycling costs.
  • Should the ESC reject the proposed 3.57% rate, Mayor Klisaris said that the council would impend to reduce
    • discretionary community projects;
    • assets renewal, however without disclosing a long term assets management plan and therefore has no evidence to support this second threat.

What makes Mayor Klisaris say all the misleading information and unfounded threats in his press release response to the ESC decision?

There are two types of people who become councillors. There are those who genuinely aim and achieve outcomes in the real interests of the Monash community and there are the “otherwise” people.  The ESC Decision and Deloitte reports concluded that the council’s higher cap rate application is likely to over-charge rate-payers in the longer term. When people read these 2 reports, most people would realise that this council had reactively and hastily made a biased decision to lock in a high cost recycling waste contract with Visy and without due process and public engagement. Council also failed to disclose that it has received funds from the State Government to address this problem, which is faced by all councils in Victoria. Council’s decision making has broken the transparency, accountability and citizen partition principles of good governance, also embedded in the Local Government Act. The rule of law does not appear to be relevant in Monash Council’s leadership.

Back to the opening question, what do you know about the integrity of Monash Council? Yes, our council simply wants to increase rates, to avail more cash on hand, to spend more on discretionary projects. After all, federal and state elections are looming, and most people know some of our councillors are running for these elections.  The good news for these councillors is that they can get the Monash ratepayers to foot their election campaigns via their discretionary programs.

One more thing – last year Mayor Lake tried to engage with the community to persuade ratepayers accept the introduction of a new waste charge, which is outside the constraints of the Local Government Minister’s rate capping policy. Ex-Mayor Lake failed. Monash is one of 7 remaining councils whose waste management costs are constrained by rate capping. By transferring waste management costs that are regulated by the Minister’s cap, to a new charge rate, Monash Council can increase its capacity to charge ratepayers and raise more discretionary money in the future.

Now Mayor Klisaris is campaigning to transform ex-Mayor Lake’s failure into his team Monash success, that he /council has no choice now, but to introduce a new waste charge and censure ESC for forcing the council to go against the will of the Monash community. A wicked problem strategy for manipulating decision making and public opinion – how would you feel about that?


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Monash Council: The School from Hell

Serial BullyingThe ridiculing and gagging standing order for controlling council meetings is not enough for Mayor Lake. He now wants roll calling to be his new black in councillors’ conduct management. Tracking councillors’ attendance is his next level up in bastardising the LG Act’s code of conduct guidelines, of course conveniently through exercising his Mayoralty position.

Everyone knows Mayor Lake is certainly gearing up for the Council Elections, evident in his recent and growing use of the press, radio interviews and council resources (website), to broadcast disparaging remarks about two RollcallLiberal Councillors he personally disperses. By publicising their names, it is a no brainer that Mayor Lake’s aim is to discredit them in an attempt to dissuade constituents from re-electing them in October Council Elections. His hope is that mud sticks – a common low political tactic.

Those of us who have been to Council meetGL3ings know Crs Davies and Zographos care about their community’s views and when they do voice their concerns, commonly Lake lets loose with a tedious verbal onslaught.

If we review past attendances, which are shown at the end of this commentary, we see that ex Cr Paul Klisaris was serially absent but nothing was raised then. Cr Klisaris also claims the highest reimbursement, especially on mobile phone bills and he only announces a council land line number as his telephone contact. He also shirt-front Cr Davis and nearly started a physical fight, if not for Cr Perrie and a council staff quickly coming to break up the near fight. Lake just wants to humiliate these two Councillors, and unfortunately the media assists this master manipulator.

 We understand that Cr Lake was on an overseas trip – possibly – but not yet proven – a  “junket”, when he was not present at the (changes to the ) C125 Amendment Council Meeting on 3rd May (but Crs Davies and Zographos were) where submitters could air their views. He had been absent for  the 26th April 2016 Council meeting too. No one can  remember hearing any publically announced apology for his absence on 3rd May. Since Cr Lake was the one who hashed the Council Planners C125 Proposal that had been previously distributed widely to the community, he should have been present to hear the submitters’ arguments against the changes HE HAD MADE to the original document.

 The funny tGLhing is the meetings are far more bearable without Cr Lake present.

The fact is that Mayor Lake revels in dishing out incriminations but cannot accommodate any debate or opposition from others. Hence the unnecessary employment, and cost to Council, of four Wilsons Security Guards for four hours minimum at each Council Meeting; not to mention intermittent Vic Police presence ( a complete inappropriate waste of emergency resources to flatter his ego).

His frequent public behaviors and attention seeking through the media indicate his agenda is to disadvantage non-Labor Councillors who may want to again contest the next council election. When next Lake pursues such a contrived and biased “dirty” media release we hope the press will be more guarded in reporting his spin.

Below are Council Attendances for the past 4 years:


Attendance 1


 Attendance 2


Attendance 3


 Attendance 4







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Budgets don’t lie, people do – part 2

Waverley Leaders’ “Budget on for young and old”  and “Call for new Men’s Shed” 1 Jul 2014 articles:

Budgets dont lie, people do

1 July WL ArticleThe 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 misunderstandingLies 1 .

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 misquotedDeclincing Performance 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.

1 July WL Article 2It is a no brainer to understand why prevailing leadership quality is failing every Monash citizen today and the cost of living in Monash is rising way, way above CPI!

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The worst 2014 Council Performance Results!

Poor MayoraltyThe 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:

poor-leadershipBad excuseThe 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. ThumbsDown

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

Declincing PerformanceAll 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.

2014 Council Performance

Worst Service Performers:

It sucksFinally, 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.

2014 Poor Service Levels


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Near enough is NOT GOOD enough for the Monash community

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:

Geoff's Booboo

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:

 Poor Motion correction

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:

2014 Council Performance

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