Tonight’s council meeting could arguably be said to represent the nadir of councillor/community relations. At the start of the meeting Esakoff began to give her ‘report’ on the MAV State Conference. She actually started to disclose not only some motions which Glen Eira council had put forward, but how they voted! A first – but always after the fact and never as a tabled document for a full Council Resolution but discussed and decided in secret assembly meetings.

Following about a minute of her report, approximately 50 to 60 residents carrying placards entered the chamber and once assembled started chanting ‘Save the Conservatory’. The chants continued for about 4 to 5 minutes. THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE TIME ESAKOFF CONTINUED SPEAKING AS IF NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. NO COUNCILLOR UTTERED A WORD ALTHOUGH AT ONE POINT PILLING DID ‘CONFER’ WITH BURKE. Whilst many may regard disrupting a council meeting as inappropriate, in our view, what is even more inappropriate is that Esakoff’s actions speak volumes. Not only is this totally ignoring ratepayers and refusing to even acknowledge their presence, but it embodies the ‘us and them’ mentality which is the hallmark of this council and its attitudes and treatment of residents. The latter simply do not exist. Their opinions, aspirations, and even presence in chamber, does not matter! This is more than rudeness. It says very, very clearly ‘get stuffed’ to residents and we will continue along in the same autocratic and anti-community fashion.

The complete betrayal by the ever growing ‘gang’ was in relation to the C60 Development plans. It was voted in by 6 to 3 with some pathetic little cosmetic amendments put up by Lipshutz – ie peak hour times were now 8.00am; more visitor car parking which still doesn’t cover the loss of existing car parking spots. Trivial, insignificant, and just tinkering. The arguments presented were woeful in their inconsistency and in their self-serving. We will report on this in detail in the next day or so. Suffice to say that those who voted to accept the Development Plans were (and this shouldn’t be a surprise) –

LIPSHUTZ, ESAKOFF, HYAMS, PILLING, OKOTEL AND SOUNNESS.

Voting against were – LOBO, MAGEE AND DELAHUNTY

The big screen was voted in unanimously (Okotel had left the meeting at this stage). More fun and games were evident by the fact that both Hyams and Esakoff left the chamber, but not by declaring a conflict of interest – but this time a ‘personal interest’ as Trustees. Lipshutz not only stayed in chamber – he seconded the motion and voted!

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