Stephen Mayne really is a bad egg. He pretends to be a governance and accountability crusader when on the ABC but when actually trusted with public office, as a sleazy local councillor, he tries to slam through controversial and unpopular development proposals, wants to “sanction” those in the community who oppose his view and frequently threatens to spit the dummy and resign in protest.
Mayne – a nasty internet rumour-monger who made $1 million from selling his leftish email newsletter to Eric Beecher – has caused so much agony and disruption on the Manningham council that even his Greens party comrade and chum David Ellis has had a gutful of him, according to informed sources. The two have been as thick and thieves until this year when, in the opinion of most on the usually tranquil council, Mayne showed signs of going gaga. Or even more gaga than Ellis is. (Ellis has been busted for cruelty to animals on multiple occasions)
Concerned locals tell VEXNEWS this has included:
■ Attempting to railroad through council processes a development proposal that would drastically reduce the local area’s public open space;
■ Demanding the sacking of a dissenter from a community consultation committee because he dared oppose Mayne’s development in a letter to the local press;
■ Repeatedly threatening to resign from the council in protest at his not being fully appreciated by the others; and
■ Regularly attempting to bully other councillors to adopt his views.
The loathing of Mayne in the municipality has reached an apex, we hear, with this playing a significant role in his decision not to re-contest. Desperate to hang on to his council honorarium, Mayne’s threats to quit have not yet been activated, as he cynically prepares to run in the Melbourne City Council area, despite no-one wanting him there either.
On the ABC last night, on Q and A show, Mayne explained that he had “worked from home” for “thirteen years”.
And yet, just a couple of months back, he lied to the Melbourne Leader newspaper, falsely informing the Leader:
He lives in Templestowe and works in the CBD.
What a tangled web Mayne weaves. Little wonder he’s under serious pressure at home to go out and earn an honest quid, spinning for Clive Palmer, Bruce Matheson or a Greens MP or whatever.
For your amusement, VEXNEWS has obtained just a few of Mayne’s recent email missives that were initially sent to councillors but are quickly forwarded on to community groups who do their best to keep the council accountable. May the soon be rid of the Mayne menace.
23/04/2012 11:34 AM
Subject: transparency motions tomorrow night
I’ve given further consideration to the suggestion from the mayor that the executive pay disclosure motion be delayed tomorrow night and, on balance, have decided to proceed with it.
I’ll probably be resigning from council in the next few weeks, so there are limited deferral options.
Also, the mayor’s suggestion that such an item is more appropriate for MAV state council was a good one – but it did not receive enough support from councillors last week and therefore won’t be listed for the MAV meeting on May 17…
18/04/2012 02:09 PM
Subject: Mayor’s campaign against Templestowe netball courts relocation
It was very disappointing to read the letters section of the Manningham Leader today where Graeme Wallace, a long time member of council’s Open Space Committee, launched a completely emotive and ill-informed attack on council’s Templestowe Village Structure Planning process.
It was doubly disappointing when I spoke to the mayor this morning and he admitted to having briefed his friend Graeme Wallace before the letter was crafted.
From someone who repeatedly claims to play a straight bat and not get involved in media games, I find this tactic of the mayor to be quite extraordinary.
As the mayor well knows, council has long under-invested in female sporting facilities. It is a travesty that we force girls to risk scrapes, twists and other injuries playing netball outdoor on hard courts, whilst all men’s basketball is played indoor.
Assisting his mate in launching an attack on the proposed netball plan – complete with a swipe at so-called “concrete jungles” and Doncaster Hill along the way – was completely inappropriate when the Templestowe Village Structure Plan hasn’t even been publicly released.
This would be acceptable conduct by someone on the backbench, but from our elected leader it is not. There is a clear majority of councillors who support pursuing this idea and I would ask the mayor to take immediate steps to sanction Mr Wallace.
If not, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t examine the composition of the Open Space Committee, which is meant to work constructively and factually with council on these sorts of planning issues.
Attempting to sabotage a legitimate and supported council planning process is simply not acceptable conduct.
I look forward to discussing this issue with fellow councillors at a councillor-only meeting in the near future.
On 19/04/2012 10:04 AM, Geoff.Gough@manningham.vic.gov.au wrote:
In relation to this issue I feel the need to clarify a number of inaccuracies.
Firstly, Graeme Wallace who is an active community member called me regarding Stephen Mayne’s comments on the front page of the Manningham Leader. This was not an organised briefing as asserted in email below. I had no knowledge or input into the letter that Mr Wallace wrote to the press. Anyone who knows Graeme would be well aware of his public stated views and his general opposition over more than 20 years to the sale of council reserves and public open space.
I have no intention of sanctioning Mr Wallace. He is fully entitled to hold his views and publicly express them.
Nor do I support the motion of examining the composition of Council’s committees solely on the basis
that an individual committee member holds opposing views to those of Councillors.
I strongly support the current Council planning process regarding Templestowe Village Structure Planning as agreed at SBS on Tuesday (10 April).
This issue would not have emerged if Councillors had complied with the existing media protocol with the Mayor of the Day as the public spokesperson on behalf of Council on all strategic Council
In view of the above I do not intend to enter into an email exchange regarding this issue.
19/04/2012 11:25 AM
Subject Re: Mayor’s campaign against Templestowe netball courts relocation
Firstly, it is terrific to actually receive an email communication from the mayor. May there be a few more.
Happy not to get into email ping pong on this issue, but just a couple of quick points.
I reacted badly to this issue because Geoff not only failed to persuade his friend to contribute through the normal consultation processes, but he was then totally unrepentant and, indeed, very aggressive when I called to express concern.
Geoff has been warning us for quite a few weeks now that this issue was about to blow up and then, it appears, was an active participant in blowing it up.
It would be all very well for Graeme Wallace to express an opinion that public
open space should be retained at Templestowe Village.
But I felt this line could only have come from Geoff and was directly targeted at me:
“Are there perhaps some short term councillors who want to leave office and be able to say: “Look, that was my idea”, but leave the mess they created for someone else to tidy up?”
The whole tone of the letter was designed to mislead with claims of “concrete jungles”, “Templestowe Village trashed”, no public space etc etc.
Geoff and I clearly have some issues to resolve and play out but I hope other councillors won’t join with him in trying to sabotage what is a legitimate process and not some ego driven mess on my behalf.
Besides, Grace has been the councillor who has driven this more than anyone, reflecting the concerns of Templestowe Village traders and the current parking mess at Templestowe Village.
And Grace has no plans to leave office at the next election.