Jun 25 – Des Olin’s media communications about his experience when presenting to Councillors on 12 June – “I stood up there and spoke about what I believe should be done in the City of Monash and felt I didn’t have the liberty to express my views as they closed any further comment from Ratepayers Victoria. One of the councillors was tweeting on his iPhone.”
Jun 26 – Council’s responses to budget submissions
2009-2013 SRP (approved).
Councillors decide to follow Council Officers’ advice to adopt the draft budgets and SRP and disregard all submissions. The irony is Council Officers advise RPV that Councillors have the discretion to instruct them to amend the rate increase, hence the budget forecasts. We also discovered that the Councillors already endorse the draft budgets prior to reviewing the submissions, making the public review and submission irrelevant but to follow procedural rules of the Local Government Act. The whole budget planning and review process is not transparent and no one holds ownership of the budget impact on the community.
Jul 3 – Just when the new 2012-13 budget starts, another Councillor commences the community education propaganda and brainwashing to accept greater than 6% future rate increases in the 4 years SRP period. It appears that Monash Councillors do not understand and/or do not wish to exercise their power in asking Council Officers to downsize in order to cap future rate increases!
Next step – post inquiry diagnosis – identifying lessons learned and improvements in next budget cycle – keep watch on this update.