Archive for category Conduct & Behaviours

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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When discredit becomes a credit

It was  an attempt of direct personal attack plan when mayor Klisaris, took liberty to threaten and accuse MRI Vice President of interjecting the June Council meeting, when no such deed was prevalent. The surprised MRI Vice President’s first response was to ask the major to explain what was the act of interjection and the mayor refused to clarify and continued to acclaim further interjections. By then, it was also easy to escalate the dialogue of inquiry into claiming further interjections, especially when MRI President got involved. It was a public act of denying one’s right to natural justice. Several public witnesses contacted MRI, to volunteer testifying against the accusation.

The situation also involved online media manipulation. MRI’s letter of complaint to the local press’s editor, corrected reporting of the true situation of the event as it had actually happened in the printed copy of the Waverley leader – that “…. the meeting was disrupted when mayor Paul Klisaris demanded Monash Ratepayers Association president Des Olin and vice president Chan Cheah leave the gallery. Cr Klisaris accused the pair of “heckling”. Dr Cheah said she was being “discriminated against” and the pair refused to leave, but agreed to do so after a discussion with the council’s chief executive. Mr Olin said he was unsatisfied with a subsequent letter from Cr Klisaris and demanded an apology. ” (Waverley Leader, 7 July 2015).

The character assassination plot continued to name MRI personnel in the Council’s June Council meeting minutes, never mind the non compliance to the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. It is the first time that Monash Council chose to publicly name public members from the gallery to imply the accused are guilty of the acclaimed offence, including not informing them that they would be named in Council’s public records (never mind seeking their consent), which would be expected of proper legal compliance procedures as part of good governance practice.

With no due diligence exercise of by-law procedures, the accused MRI people were further denied their rights to a remedial meeting with the mayor. The mayor also changed his mind and chose not to fine them, however without proper protocol procedures to explain the reason for  his individual and discretionary waiver decision. Another violation of natural justice.

The opportunistic creation and leverage of incident, together with following media manipulation, certainly revealed itself as a low political tactical of smear campaign, a very frequently used character attack political tactic  in many Victorian Councils, where groupthink and party politics prevail before community interests. Such a tactic is certainly being used in a different context, against apolitical ratepayers advocating for good governance.

The incident served as a strong confirmation that MRI has been effective in its good governance oversight, to the extent that:

  1. Some groupthink people are seeing MRI as a threat that is imposing the openness of poor governance conduct and decision making in Council affairs;
  2. MRI is being recognised as a twelfth de facto Councillor of Monash, to warrant naming its key people in the minuted Councillors’ meeting discussions.

MRI is pleased with these directions of publicity of its good governance oversight and advocacy developments. A attempt to discredit certainly turned out to be a credit to MRI.

Good Governance Matters

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Are ratepayers going to pay for 2 mayors in Monash?

Paying for 2 Mayors in Council

Mayor GLWe just checked the ex Mayor’s personal blogging website and twitter  and he still claims to be the Mayor when the position has been terminated. The question is “are ratepayers paying for two Mayors in Monash Council?” Maybe two heads are better than one?

Not only our Councillors don’t commit to good governance practice in matters of using official Council information on personal website + social media and now this ludicrous claim of having two Mayors in Monash ! Great Mickey Mouse performance Mayors of Monash!

GL Still Mayor 2.jpg

 Update 14 Jan 2015: he updated his twitter to say he is just an ordinary Councillor (poor thing), but not his private blog. Lake no longer Mayor


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Greedy grab by councils, including Monash Council

An excellent editorial piece by the Herald Sun:

Source: Herald Sun, 18 March 2014

Herald Sun Editorial News

The heat is growing on Councils to watch their appetites for escalating rate increases beyond CPI each year.

More articles:

  1. Councils sting Victorians $2 billion in rate rises above rate of inflation over 10 years, by: John Masanauskas, Christopher Gillet from Herald Sun, March 18, 2014 5:31PM
  2. Councils are giving into relentless community demands too often by John Masanauskas from Herald Sun, March 18, 2014 12:00AM

Why your rates rise every year?

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Mayor’s political scoring goes into Council website

UnethicalWhen a Mayor goes personal to do political scoring on Monash Council website, that says a lot about the quality of leadership this city has.

The Tues Council Meeting discussion on item 7.2 was one that brought personal bickering and party politics’ abuses into Council debates, definitely breaching the code of conduct principles , which are:

1. acting with integrity;

2. exercising their responsibilities impartially in the interests of the local community;

3. not making improper use of their position to advantage or disadvantage any person;

4. avoiding conflicts between their public duties as Councillors and their personal interests and obligations;

5. acting honestly and avoid making oral or written statements and avoid actions that may mislead a person;

6. treating all persons with respect and will show due respect for the opinions, beliefs, rights and responsibilities of other Councillors, council officers and other people.

Rightly or wrongly, the Mayor is perceived by many in the community as unethical, abusing his position now to push forward his political incited and personally motivated motion amendments and commentaries into becoming a headline news in Council Monash website.

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Councillors’ Failed Report Card

MRI Letter to Monash Councillors

Dear Councillors

Your performance in Tues Council meeting went reasonably well, until you had to bring personal bickering and party politics’ abuses into Council affairs. By doing this, you also showed contempt to the code of conduct through your disrespectful and what we see as pre-orchestrated behaviours. This is not the first time for many of you, you have often repeated many similar incidents in past.

 Is it because you are bored of mandate debates and like some entertainment for all, making the Council meeting a circus show?

 While you achieved entertainment and political scoring, you failed in meeting the Council meeting experience expectations of your constituents. We will continue to progressively monitor your governance performance in future Council meetings and other public activities.

To see full details of report card, click here.

25 Feb Council Meeting Report Card

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