Maroondah Council is currently proposing not to formally endorse its response submission to the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) at Monday night’s council meeting.
The decision not to formally adopt council’s position is at odds with other municipalities which required both the preliminary submission and final response to be adopted by resolution at a formal council meeting.
The motion that was adopted in February 2008 (in a five versus two decision) reads as follows:
That Council adopts an electoral structure of seven councillors and single member wards reflecting Maroondah’s current communities of interest as the basis of its preliminary submission to be made to the VEC review panel by 4 March 2008.
It has been claimed that the wording of this resolution applies to the response submission due on the 22nd of April, as well as an advocacy campaign currently being undertaken by Council. It is clear that this is incorrect – the wording of the resolution refers exclusively to the preliminary submission.
This is yet another example of decisions that are being made behind closed doors at Maroondah City Council. It would appear that this is an attempt to stymie debate on the response submission, where the council is attempting to clutch to a modified version of the existing ward boundaries – despite the fact that they divide communities within Maroondah.
While it is necessary at times to tolerate the churlish behaviour of some of my colleagues I will not accept a denial of transparency and accountability. I am seeking independent advice as to whether Maroondah can prevent the response submission being listed on Monday night’s council agenda.