Archive for category Community Engagement

People’s Park Option for redeveloping Glen Waverley Central Car Park

The redevelopment saga of Glen Waverley’s central car park has attracted another community option for best value consideration by Monash Council. This new community option, called People’s Park, was developed as a result of consulting local residents, traders, local school parents and other Monash ratepayers and residents and conducting due diligent business case research. The proposal is a substantiated and viable alternative for redeveloping the central car park, in addition to Cr Lake’s option.

This People’s Park option proposes partnership with Apple to build an underground technology retail and multimedia library center with two additional levels of underground car parks.

GWCCP People's Park

It recommends more and viable funding choices than Cr Lake’s option, which only pursues to sell the car park to fund a new library and a small public space, and allow high density developments that will threaten the feng shui of Glen Waverley and increase local population without providing  local and green open space in close proximity. The sale of the central car park will also mean the loss of GW’s most prized land that can potentially provide the local community and shoppers scarce green open space amenities and services.

GWCCP - Geoff's Option

March’s meeting documentation has revealed continuing preference for Cr Lake’s option to progress into Request for Tender.  Quality due diligent information to substantiate Cr Lake’s option against the John Monash Multicultural Square (JMMS) proposal (put in by another community group) was lacking, as there was the absence of evidence based business case information and a best value evaluation framework, resulting in the GW subcommittee (lead by Cr Lake) and council staff making subjective recommendations to reject the JMMS proposition. In the three public community consultation sessions (attended by more than 150 people) that Council has organized to discuss the fate of the central car park, MRI representatives who attended all 4 meetings, including the JMMS one, had witnessed over 95% of participants did not want the new library and high rise developments and prefer the central car park remain an open space. This strong non support for Cr lake’s library was never documented clearly in council’s public records. However, the March meeting documentation continues to misrepresent the strong Monash community’s non support for Cr Lake’s option during the community consultations and instead presented information that says otherwise.

Waverley Leader 5 April 2016 ArticleLike the selling of Monash and Elizabeth Gardens aged care facilities in 2013 and the deliberate and the long standing deficit financial management of the Euvena carpark, Cr Lake is once again leading and strengthening group-think decision making towards selling the central car park to fund and build a state of the art new library in the Glen Waverley central car park, a personal obsession that he willed on his constituents since the 2012 election, despite the community’s strong non support for his obsession.

Party politics stricken Councillors representing their own interests first is the growing new black in Monash, a proven fact also recently supported by the Waverley Leader, reporting the lateness and poor governance of council meeting in March and their growing failure to represent the community’s views.

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A Glimspse into the 30 Sep 2014 Council Meeting

From one of our members’ reflection of yesterday’s Council Meeting, which was also shared with the Mayor and other Monash Councillors:

Dear Geoff

 Monty_Python_reuni_2738729bI have not been to Council Meetings for several months. Last’s night’s episode was entertaining and amusing to see a growing new Pythonesque and high context leadership culture emerging. To help build community engagement and rapport, I share openly with you insights of my reflections about last night’s meeting:

I am certainly bemused to learn that there is a new leadership dimension that can potentially added to the GLOBE first order leadership factors – a Mickey Mouse leadership feature. Well done Councillors for giving this new and cute insight into the study of leadership. MC means more than Monash Council now, it also stands for Mickey-Mouse Club – it is so cute and Kitty Cat.

 I didn’t realise the last term’s Councillors were sleeping together and hence sleep walking when exercising their coming-outCouncil’s duties. It is amazing to see such wonderful talents and gender equity and bonding among long running Councillors – the new ones do make a mess – don’t they?  Also good to see one Councillor is coming out and perhaps take multiculturalism to the next level of gender equity through this high context expression of sleep walking. By the way, when will gay equity be the next advocacy priority?  I am all for it.

 BullyingWow I never see workplace bullying and associated attention seeking disorders so well expressed implicitly and vividly as a mental choreography of gang raping one of your peers.  I salute you for this high craft. This masculine leadership culture is also and surely becoming a fine art of good acting of well orchestrated dialogue tactics, unlike its many clumsy attempts in the past. Which Acting school did some of the folks go to ? – good choice.  Must say and appreciate that  good acting is good entertainment for the gallery audience, especially when it was a long meeting.

 I am very amused by one Councillor’s understanding of good governance – can someone point to him where to get the proper definition information that really explain what good governance means.  I am so glad that we have a Councillor who showed his good A class knowledge of good governance when he explained why he cannot support the majority’s exception decision to give more grants to applicants who did not received what they wanted.  I am sure you folks are kidding the gallery audience when one Councillor said Council supports exception decision making in order to have “good news” reporting in the Waverley Leader? I hope so…..?

 Group_decision_makingHmm, decision making – hum still needs working on.  I am not sure whether directive, analytic, conceptual or behaviour styles can be used to describe the collective group-think decision making culture. There is a need for more balance between rational and emotional decision making – too much on the melodrama emotional side – perhaps make organisational decision making training as everyone’s next professional development priority? Some of the decision making gibberish was rather boring – I made 7 origami and occasionally keeping watching the timer-clock and do a countdown for the bleep-bleep to keep awake, and even completed a work report. On a more serious note, where are the best value arguments and the supporting KPI to validate legislated best value accountability of everyone’s decision making – I hope everyone is not sleep walking again?

 Interesting to witness Napthine Government bashing is getting more frequent, more louder and more explicit towards state election time. I thought Local Government is constitutionally a delegated unit of the State Government – I must be wrong if there are obvious open political party conflict interplays among Councillors during meetings? If we ever have a change in government, I wonder what Andrew licking would like during Council meetings? I am curious to discover.

I am sure you had good intent when expressing your views about the LG electoral revkim-jong-un 3iew.  We must understand modern advocacy these days is not about doing for the community, but doing with the community. Electing future Councillors are very much ratepayers’ stuff, not Councillors – maybe a good idea for community engagement improvement is to engage and ask your constituents’ viewpoints on that review, rather than expressing your individual’s views and coalescing with other Councillors’ views to say it represent the community’s viewpoint. Can’t see the difference between this sort of Monash and Kim Jong Un ‘s government style? PS: I have some North Korean friends, who will be very upset by the discriminating remark about their national culture if they heard what was said last night – maybe best use Kim Jong Un name instead of discriminating at a nation’s level (ie you can exercise derogatory at an individual level) – but better to be appropriately culturally responsive (and literate) when you open your mouth publicly next time.

 Last night’s meeting was long, and glad you spice up the new MC Councillors’ culture that is so Pythonesque and side-splitting for the gallery audience, that maybe it is worth missing my favourite NCIS and Arrow TV episodes last night?

 My admiration for the staff who had to keep  serious straight and attentive faces last night. I like the new time-keeper role in Council meeting – maybe you can use the jelly-bean jar theory and get Councillors to pay a gold coin every-time they exceed their time-limit. This way we can use the money to cut future budgets and hence rates one day –tell you what –  that would be really, really nice.


Your engaging community constituent

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17 July MRI Network Meeting – Conversation with Mayor Geoff Lake

Conversation with GL

MRI 17 Jul Meeting Agenda


 Minutes of the Meeting (18 July Update)

Synopsis of Discussions

Last night, Monash Ratepayers Incorporated (MRI)’s executive management team met with Mayor Lake, to discuss key concerns and solution ideas to help address Council’s poor performance in community communication, engagement and decision making, which have been worsening over the last 2-3 years.

The meeting enabled the Mayor to understand how MRI works as a 21st century network advocacy organisation that develops and empowers groups and individuals to share advocacy work, talents, resources and maximise community outreach and influence. With this understanding, the Mayor is assured that MRI is not the previous Monash Ratepayer Association, which went defunct in 2009, and considers MRI as a “breath of fresh air” because its people, like Council, are committed to representing and advocating for the Monash community.

MRI’s executive management team members who attended, included 6 community leaders from six local and regional organisations and individuals; several apologies were noted. The discussions touched different matters of concerns and solution ideas for improving community communications and engagement in future Council affairs. As communication issues cut across different functions of and community interactions with Council, the highlights of topics discussed included matters about:

  1. Current budgets and rates affordability issues and proposing considerations to adopt community participatory and increasing zero based budgeting approaches in future budget planning to allow for planning transparency and reduce political and poor budget decision influences.
  2. Changing local laws to allow public question protocols to be more in line with what the community wants when communicating with Councillors during Council meetings;
  3. The benefit of using a guiding checklist to reduce current variations in how Councillors individually interpret their conflicts of interest and to assure the community there is a consistent and transparent process for defining any Councillor’s conflict of interest position, especially when three of them are running in State elections;
  4. Addressing intergeneration differences and gaps in current municipal and customer service provisioning, which tends to be unresponsive to the expectations and preferences of the older generation;
  5. Showing new leadership in improving the professional competency and quality of Councillors’ conduct and decision making debates, going away from politically incited, personal and melodramatic arguments that are currently and frequently being fostered during Council meetings;
  6. Increase intellectual engagement with retirees, which will require improving the current standard of Council positive aging facilitation to acknowledge and harness the professional business and technical wisdom and talents of retirees, allowing them more leadership say and skilled based opportunities in directing and implementing the World Health Organisation’s Active Aging Policy Framework and contributing to renewal technology innovation and business development activities;
  7. Poor capacity in some areas to effectively resolve local neighbourhood issues and the appreciation of the Mayor to help escalate resolution of a two years’ issue of one resident;
  8. Considering the resolve of Council to change its current culture and style of community engagement to one that allows the community to be equal partners in future decision making and solutions formulation.

The meeting closed with the Mayor agreeing, as next step, to support the notion of considering a community partnership approach in community engagement. MRI will follow-up on this action item.

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