Melbourne 2016 – The Light on the Hill Team

Representing Local Residents. Ratepayers and Businesses Equally – Issues include:

STOP THE WAR ON CARS

  • Review of Melbourne’s Bicycle network and improve traffic flow in the City. End Traffic Congestion by fixing LaTrobe Street and other cross city roads.
  • Safer roads for (All) users including Pedestrians, Motorcyclists, disabled and the elderly Commuter Parking.
  • Shared access to the Road Network.

Improved Pedestrian Safety, remove Bicycles from the Yarra Promenade

Better planning South Yarra, South Bank, Carlton, Parkville, East Melbourne, Docklands and the whole city. – Protecting our Heritage and Local
Amenity

Save Queen Victoria Market:

  • Trade 7 days a week.
  • Car Park under existing Car Park (Open space above) –

End the rorts and junkets

  • No free booze Bar.
  • Limited Overseas travel

Replace Lord Mayor’s Limo with an electric vehicle. Inclusive Melbourne:

Melbourne Family Friendly:

Establish a Strategy Plan to increase activities to make Melbourne more family friendly.

Governance:

Increased accountability and transparency. Reduce expenditure lower rates.

Reunite Carlton

Review of Melbourne’s external boundaries and electoral system with the aim of establishing a Greater Melbourne City Council that incorporates City of Port Philip, The former  City of Prahran and the City of Yarra with 21 Councillors (3 members x 7 wards) .

Advocacy:

MetroRail

  • improved local amenity.
  • MetroRail Stations to include local shops and services.
    Tunnel under Punt Road between the Yarra and Nepean Highway and grade separation along Hoddle Street.
  • Save the Historic Number 8 South Yarra Tram –


Email: melbcity@gmail.com

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

VEC Stonewalls Stonnington Residents. Rejecting Option B

The Victorian Electoral Commission Municipal reviews once again has demonstrated its complete incompetence when it comes to Municipal Representation reviews.

The VEC in releasing it’s final report on Stonington representational model ignored the most popular option “Option B” which would have seen Stonnington divided into three Municipal Wars with each ward returning three members of Council. The notable difference of Option B is that the boundaries would be redrawn on a north south axis opposed to the current ward boundary configuration.

The North South boundaries would have better represented the community of Interest and aligned the Municipality ward with those of the former Municipality boundaries. Most notably the City of Prahran.

Community of Interest is one of the main considerations required to be taken into consideration in any Municipal review. The current boundaries do not provide a consistent or satisfactory community of interest profile. In a rather lame justification the VEC tied to argue that the existing boundaries were known within the community. Obviously they are out of touch with reality. Stonnington has been a mismatch of community interests with the existing boundaries working against common interests. The former City of Prahran has more in common with the City of Melbourne then it has with Malvern/Chadstone.

Residents of Prahran.,South Yarra and Windsor should not hold their breath thinking that former deputy Lord Mayor , now State Member for Prahran, Clem Newton-Brown will lobby for the recommendation to be rejected and for Option B to be the preferred option. Clem is a do nothing, no change sort of man. Clem does not like rocking the boat let alone representing the best interests of his electorate.

Option B boundaries would have allowed for a better alignment with State and Federal electoral boundaries.

The low participation rate in the municipal review is an indication of the poor quality of public consultation undertaken by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

All other options (excluding A and B) where a miss-matched patch work of inconsistencies not worth considering.

In a not to surprising move, excluded from the option list was nine single member wards. No explanation given as to why the VEC did not canvas or consider such an option. A nine member single-ward model would have been preferable to the other options presented.

Thankfully they did not get any serious consideration.

VEC Stonewalls Stonnington Residents. Rejecting Option B

The Victorian Electoral Commission Municipal reviews once again has demonstrated its complete incompetence when it comes to Municipal Representation reviews.

The VEC in releasing it’s final report on Stonington representational model ignored the most popular option “Option B” which would have seen Stonnington divided into three Municipal Wars with each ward returning three members of Council. The notable difference of Option B is that the boundaries would be redrawn on a north south axis opposed to the current ward boundary configuration.

The North South boundaries would have better represented the community of Interest and aligned the Municipality ward with those of the former Municipality boundaries. Most notably the City of Prahran.

Community of Interest is one of the main considerations required to be taken into consideration in any Municipal review. The current boundaries do not provide a consistent or satisfactory community of interest profile. In a rather lame justification the VEC tied to argue that the existing boundaries were known within the community. Obviously they are out of touch with reality. Stonnington has been a mismatch of community interests with the existing boundaries working against common interests. The former City of Prahran has more in common with the City of Melbourne then it has with Malvern/Chadstone.

Residents of Prahran.,South Yarra and Windsor should not hold their breath thinking that former deputy Lord Mayor , now State Member for Prahran, Clem Newton-Brown will lobby for the recommendation to be rejected and for Option B to be the preferred option. Clem is a do nothing, no change sort of man. Clem does not like rocking the boat let alone representing the best interests of his electorate.

Option B boundaries would have allowed for a better alignment with State and Federal electoral boundaries.

The low participation rate in the municipal review is an indication of the poor quality of public consultation undertaken by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

All other options (excluding A and B) where a miss-matched patch work of inconsistencies not worth considering.

In a not to surprising move, excluded from the option list was nine single member wards. No explanation given as to why the VEC did not canvas or consider such an option. A nine member single-ward model would have been preferable to the other options presented.

Thankfully they did not get any serious consideration.

VEC Stonewalls Stonnington Residents. Rejecting Option B

The Victorian Electoral Commission Municipal reviews once again has demonstrated its complete incompetence when it comes to Municipal Representation reviews.

The VEC in releasing it’s final report on Stonington representational model ignored the most popular option “Option B” which would have seen Stonnington divided into three Municipal Wars with each ward returning three members of Council. The notable difference of Option B is that the boundaries would be redrawn on a north south axis opposed to the current ward boundary configuration.

The North South boundaries would have better represented the community of Interest and aligned the Municipality ward with those of the former Municipality boundaries. Most notably the City of Prahran.

Community of Interest is one of the main considerations required to be taken into consideration in any Municipal review. The current boundaries do not provide a consistent or satisfactory community of interest profile. In a rather lame justification the VEC tied to argue that the existing boundaries were known within the community. Obviously they are out of touch with reality. Stonnington has been a mismatch of community interests with the existing boundaries working against common interests. The former City of Prahran has more in common with the City of Melbourne then it has with Malvern/Chadstone.

Residents of Prahran.,South Yarra and Windsor should not hold their breath thinking that former deputy Lord Mayor , now State Member for Prahran, Clem Newton-Brown will lobby for the recommendation to be rejected and for Option B to be the preferred option. Clem is a do nothing, no change sort of man. Clem does not like rocking the boat let alone representing the best interests of his electorate.

Option B boundaries would have allowed for a better alignment with State and Federal electoral boundaries.

The low participation rate in the municipal review is an indication of the poor quality of public consultation undertaken by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

All other options (excluding A and B) where a miss-matched patch work of inconsistencies not worth considering.

In a not to surprising move, excluded from the option list was nine single member wards. No explanation given as to why the VEC did not canvas or consider such an option. A nine member single-ward model would have been preferable to the other options presented.

Thankfully they did not get any serious consideration.

Look to the future not the past Melbourne needs new bloodlines and fresh faces

As the race for the Lord Mayor begins to intensify the usual suspects put forward their names as contenders for Melbourne LM001 driver’s seat. Failed candidates and recycled politicians are being dusted off and put on show as the contenders approach the starting gate.

The old nag list includes past Councillor and rejected Deputy Lord Mayor Peter McMullin who sees an opening and a comeback opportunity.

McMullin’s stint on the City Council was a lack luster and divisive term of office. He was originally appointed Deputy Lord Mayor in following the 1996 Council election. Soon after taking Office McMullin betrayed the electorate and supported the State Governments assault on City Planning and Melbourne’s controversial Museum development. His appeasement and back flip was seen as his down fall and he soon lost the Deputy Lord Mayor’s position as a result. The period that followed McMullen’s election in 1996 saw the decline of governance and the rise of corruption take hold of the City Council under the administration of Michael Malouf former City of Geelong CEO). McMullin’s policy of appeasement oversaw the blackest period of governance in the cities history. The rot had set in and remained for years following.

In 2001 the State government had to step-in and reform the City Council and part of its reform was the introduction of a direct election model for Lord Major. Brought in by Left Minister Bob Cameron the direct election model added to the rise of corruption in the City Council. The city Council was no longer managed by component staff and the council became a feather bed of corrupt practices. Professional governance was no longer a virtue or goal.

The council under John So, who was Melbourne’s first directly elected Lord Mayor in 2001, went from bad to worst. Michael Malouf was dumped and replaced in 2003 with John So’s against the recommendation of the Council’s Finance Committee chairman, Kevin Chamberlain, appointing David Pitchford as Malouf’s replacement. What followed were a continued decline in governance and a blow-put in council expenditure as staff were allowed to rule the roost unchecked and unfettered.

The City Council under the miss-guidance of then Legal and Governance Officer, Allison Lyon, came under review by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyon tried desperately to hinder the Ombudsman review of the City Council. The Ombudsman later uncovered a host of corrupt practices and on going attempts at cover up in the way in which the Council was administered.

Council Staff were engaged in wholesale cover-up of abuse and misuse of Council’s travel and expense allowances, with Staff trying to explain the reasons why Council expenses statements did not record accurately Council’s expenses was due to the fact that expenses, which where over one year old, had not been acquitted in the council books. Missing and unaccounted was tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers money with the City Auditors being compromised and dragged into the Staff’s cover up and attempts of avoidance. There was no accountability and Councillors had been compromised by accepting offers of luxury overseas junkets and feather bedding opportunities.

The City Council is in need of a major shakeup. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and accountability. The resurrection of failed local Councillors is not the solution.

The community, both business and residents alike, had called for a review of the Council’s structure. The State Government instead of addressing the need for further reform buried its head in the sand and ignored the obvious and refused to subject the City Council to the normal review process that every other Municipal council was subjected to.

Recycling failed candidates who are part of the cause of the problems facing Melbourne is not the solution.

If Melbourne is to be revived and Council held accountable to ratepayers then it will be up to the voters of Melbourne to take control and send a clear message of concern and disapproval in November.

Melbourne needs some hard heads with serious business acumen and ability to regain control of a Council that is seriously out of control and lost from reality. They will need to be independent from the State Government and insist in a proper and full open public review, not one held behind closed doors as was the case back in 2001. The City Council should have undergone a review in 2007 and the outcome of the review should have been implemented prior to next month’s election.

Look to the future not the past Melbourne needs new bloodlines and fresh faces

As the race for the Lord Mayor begins to intensify the usual suspects put forward their names as contenders for Melbourne LM001 driver’s seat. Failed candidates and recycled politicians are being dusted off and put on show as the contenders approach the starting gate.

The old nag list includes past Councillor and rejected Deputy Lord Mayor Peter McMullin who sees an opening and a comeback opportunity.

McMullin’s stint on the City Council was a lack luster and divisive term of office. He was originally appointed Deputy Lord Mayor in following the 1996 Council election. Soon after taking Office McMullin betrayed the electorate and supported the State Governments assault on City Planning and Melbourne’s controversial Museum development. His appeasement and back flip was seen as his down fall and he soon lost the Deputy Lord Mayor’s position as a result. The period that followed McMullen’s election in 1996 saw the decline of governance and the rise of corruption take hold of the City Council under the administration of Michael Malouf former City of Geelong CEO). McMullin’s policy of appeasement oversaw the blackest period of governance in the cities history. The rot had set in and remained for years following.

In 2001 the State government had to step-in and reform the City Council and part of its reform was the introduction of a direct election model for Lord Major. Brought in by Left Minister Bob Cameron the direct election model added to the rise of corruption in the City Council. The city Council was no longer managed by component staff and the council became a feather bed of corrupt practices. Professional governance was no longer a virtue or goal.

The council under John So, who was Melbourne’s first directly elected Lord Mayor in 2001, went from bad to worst. Michael Malouf was dumped and replaced in 2003 with John So’s against the recommendation of the Council’s Finance Committee chairman, Kevin Chamberlain, appointing David Pitchford as Malouf’s replacement. What followed were a continued decline in governance and a blow-put in council expenditure as staff were allowed to rule the roost unchecked and unfettered.

The City Council under the miss-guidance of then Legal and Governance Officer, Allison Lyon, came under review by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyon tried desperately to hinder the Ombudsman review of the City Council. The Ombudsman later uncovered a host of corrupt practices and on going attempts at cover up in the way in which the Council was administered.

Council Staff were engaged in wholesale cover-up of abuse and misuse of Council’s travel and expense allowances, with Staff trying to explain the reasons why Council expenses statements did not record accurately Council’s expenses was due to the fact that expenses, which where over one year old, had not been acquitted in the council books. Missing and unaccounted was tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers money with the City Auditors being compromised and dragged into the Staff’s cover up and attempts of avoidance. There was no accountability and Councillors had been compromised by accepting offers of luxury overseas junkets and feather bedding opportunities.

The City Council is in need of a major shakeup. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and accountability. The resurrection of failed local Councillors is not the solution.

The community, both business and residents alike, had called for a review of the Council’s structure. The State Government instead of addressing the need for further reform buried its head in the sand and ignored the obvious and refused to subject the City Council to the normal review process that every other Municipal council was subjected to.

Recycling failed candidates who are part of the cause of the problems facing Melbourne is not the solution.

If Melbourne is to be revived and Council held accountable to ratepayers then it will be up to the voters of Melbourne to take control and send a clear message of concern and disapproval in November.

Melbourne needs some hard heads with serious business acumen and ability to regain control of a Council that is seriously out of control and lost from reality. They will need to be independent from the State Government and insist in a proper and full open public review, not one held behind closed doors as was the case back in 2001. The City Council should have undergone a review in 2007 and the outcome of the review should have been implemented prior to next month’s election.

Look to the future not the past Melbourne needs new bloodlines and fresh faces

As the race for the Lord Mayor begins to intensify the usual suspects put forward their names as contenders for Melbourne LM001 driver’s seat. Failed candidates and recycled politicians are being dusted off and put on show as the contenders approach the starting gate.

The old nag list includes past Councillor and rejected Deputy Lord Mayor Peter McMullin who sees an opening and a comeback opportunity.

McMullin’s stint on the City Council was a lack luster and divisive term of office. He was originally appointed Deputy Lord Mayor in following the 1996 Council election. Soon after taking Office McMullin betrayed the electorate and supported the State Governments assault on City Planning and Melbourne’s controversial Museum development. His appeasement and back flip was seen as his down fall and he soon lost the Deputy Lord Mayor’s position as a result. The period that followed McMullen’s election in 1996 saw the decline of governance and the rise of corruption take hold of the City Council under the administration of Michael Malouf former City of Geelong CEO). McMullin’s policy of appeasement oversaw the blackest period of governance in the cities history. The rot had set in and remained for years following.

In 2001 the State government had to step-in and reform the City Council and part of its reform was the introduction of a direct election model for Lord Major. Brought in by Left Minister Bob Cameron the direct election model added to the rise of corruption in the City Council. The city Council was no longer managed by component staff and the council became a feather bed of corrupt practices. Professional governance was no longer a virtue or goal.

The council under John So, who was Melbourne’s first directly elected Lord Mayor in 2001, went from bad to worst. Michael Malouf was dumped and replaced in 2003 with John So’s against the recommendation of the Council’s Finance Committee chairman, Kevin Chamberlain, appointing David Pitchford as Malouf’s replacement. What followed were a continued decline in governance and a blow-put in council expenditure as staff were allowed to rule the roost unchecked and unfettered.

The City Council under the miss-guidance of then Legal and Governance Officer, Allison Lyon, came under review by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyon tried desperately to hinder the Ombudsman review of the City Council. The Ombudsman later uncovered a host of corrupt practices and on going attempts at cover up in the way in which the Council was administered.

Council Staff were engaged in wholesale cover-up of abuse and misuse of Council’s travel and expense allowances, with Staff trying to explain the reasons why Council expenses statements did not record accurately Council’s expenses was due to the fact that expenses, which where over one year old, had not been acquitted in the council books. Missing and unaccounted was tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers money with the City Auditors being compromised and dragged into the Staff’s cover up and attempts of avoidance. There was no accountability and Councillors had been compromised by accepting offers of luxury overseas junkets and feather bedding opportunities.

The City Council is in need of a major shakeup. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and accountability. The resurrection of failed local Councillors is not the solution.

The community, both business and residents alike, had called for a review of the Council’s structure. The State Government instead of addressing the need for further reform buried its head in the sand and ignored the obvious and refused to subject the City Council to the normal review process that every other Municipal council was subjected to.

Recycling failed candidates who are part of the cause of the problems facing Melbourne is not the solution.

If Melbourne is to be revived and Council held accountable to ratepayers then it will be up to the voters of Melbourne to take control and send a clear message of concern and disapproval in November.

Melbourne needs some hard heads with serious business acumen and ability to regain control of a Council that is seriously out of control and lost from reality. They will need to be independent from the State Government and insist in a proper and full open public review, not one held behind closed doors as was the case back in 2001. The City Council should have undergone a review in 2007 and the outcome of the review should have been implemented prior to next month’s election.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

John So head in the sand and hand in the public pocket

John So continues to spend spend spend whilst burying his head in the sand.

The State Government has also wiped it’s hands clean and failed undertake a review of the City of Melbourne’s representative model. Whilst every other Municipality is subjected to comprehensive review Melbourne has been excluded.

Its been just seven years since Melbourne narrowed its focus and adopted a direct election of its Lord Mayor.

Last year there was a half hearted proposal for the City of Melbourne to initiate it won representative review, A proposal that met with opposition from John So and was rejected on the casting vote of the Lord Mayor.

Why the city councillors that were supporting a review did not appeal directly to the State Government is anyones guess. After all it is the responsibility and determination of the State Government to undertake any serious independent review.

David Dunstan in today’s Age has reflect on the issues that face Melbourne faces and the need to ensure that the City’s governance meets the challenges it faces.

The largest and most central of them all, Melbourne City Council, instead of being made larger to give a lead, was made smaller and more ineffectual to prevent inner-city residents having any say over Melbourne’s lucrative golden mile and inner region. Labor has been careful not to undo the pro-growth, pro-big-property stance of its predecessors. But for nine years it has taken the city for granted, simply assuming that it can absorb the growth to 4.5 million people. Now problems of housing affordability, traffic congestion and the inadequate contribution of the public transport system are upon us.

The proposal to create a greater City of Melbourne is not new but for various reasons has never been taken seriously. Jeff Kennett in fact went the other way and reduced the size of the Council to that of a small island.

There is an urgent need to review and expand the Cities boundaries.

The direct election model has failed to provide good governance and accountability.

John So has spent the Cities inheritance and family jewels. Come November he will also loose the support of a number of his collection or rubber stamps. It is expected that John will dump his Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer, as team up with the third rate councillor David Wilson. Catherine NG, one of So’s best performers. is expected to stand down leaving a serious gap in Johns ability to undertake even the most basic of tasks required by the City Council.

John So leadership is also under question.

John has failed to provide financial management or corporate governance. His ability to chair a meeting is left seriously lacking.

Whilst there is ongoing support and talk around the town hall for an urgent review of the City Council, reality is that both the Councillors and the State Government have left it too late to initiate a serious review.

At best we could hope that the State Government undertakes a ministerial review restore balance and strengthen the Council’s accoutability and governance in the City Structure.

Lord Mayor, by default, is also the Council’s chairman.

One proposal that should be considered and adopted is the need to separate the role of Lord Mayor and that of the Chairman of the Council.

When the State Government implemented a direct election model it did not pay sufficient attention to the functioning of the Council and did not consider to the role of chairman.

The chairman of any council should always maintain the support and confidence of the elected Council, the Chairman must be elected from and by the Council itself and not part and parcel of Lord Mayor’s position.

The separation of the two roles and allowing the City Council to appoint the Council’s chairperson of their own chopping would go a long way to strengthening the Council’s governance and ability to hold the executive to account.

This one change is simple and logical and should be adopted without delay in the first week of the spring parliamentary session prior to the November Municipal election.

John So head in the sand and hand in the public pocket

John So continues to spend spend spend whilst burying his head in the sand.

The State Government has also wiped it’s hands clean and failed undertake a review of the City of Melbourne’s representative model. Whilst every other Municipality is subjected to comprehensive review Melbourne has been excluded.

Its been just seven years since Melbourne narrowed its focus and adopted a direct election of its Lord Mayor.

Last year there was a half hearted proposal for the City of Melbourne to initiate it won representative review, A proposal that met with opposition from John So and was rejected on the casting vote of the Lord Mayor.

Why the city councillors that were supporting a review did not appeal directly to the State Government is anyones guess. After all it is the responsibility and determination of the State Government to undertake any serious independent review.

David Dunstan in today’s Age has reflect on the issues that face Melbourne faces and the need to ensure that the City’s governance meets the challenges it faces.

The largest and most central of them all, Melbourne City Council, instead of being made larger to give a lead, was made smaller and more ineffectual to prevent inner-city residents having any say over Melbourne’s lucrative golden mile and inner region. Labor has been careful not to undo the pro-growth, pro-big-property stance of its predecessors. But for nine years it has taken the city for granted, simply assuming that it can absorb the growth to 4.5 million people. Now problems of housing affordability, traffic congestion and the inadequate contribution of the public transport system are upon us.

The proposal to create a greater City of Melbourne is not new but for various reasons has never been taken seriously. Jeff Kennett in fact went the other way and reduced the size of the Council to that of a small island.

There is an urgent need to review and expand the Cities boundaries.

The direct election model has failed to provide good governance and accountability.

John So has spent the Cities inheritance and family jewels. Come November he will also loose the support of a number of his collection or rubber stamps. It is expected that John will dump his Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer, as team up with the third rate councillor David Wilson. Catherine NG, one of So’s best performers. is expected to stand down leaving a serious gap in Johns ability to undertake even the most basic of tasks required by the City Council.

John So leadership is also under question.

John has failed to provide financial management or corporate governance. His ability to chair a meeting is left seriously lacking.

Whilst there is ongoing support and talk around the town hall for an urgent review of the City Council, reality is that both the Councillors and the State Government have left it too late to initiate a serious review.

At best we could hope that the State Government undertakes a ministerial review restore balance and strengthen the Council’s accoutability and governance in the City Structure.

Lord Mayor, by default, is also the Council’s chairman.

One proposal that should be considered and adopted is the need to separate the role of Lord Mayor and that of the Chairman of the Council.

When the State Government implemented a direct election model it did not pay sufficient attention to the functioning of the Council and did not consider to the role of chairman.

The chairman of any council should always maintain the support and confidence of the elected Council, the Chairman must be elected from and by the Council itself and not part and parcel of Lord Mayor’s position.

The separation of the two roles and allowing the City Council to appoint the Council’s chairperson of their own chopping would go a long way to strengthening the Council’s governance and ability to hold the executive to account.

This one change is simple and logical and should be adopted without delay in the first week of the spring parliamentary session prior to the November Municipal election.