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Local Government

MAYNIAC STRIKES AGAIN: Failed attempt at corrupting MAV vote blows up in Stephen Mayne’s face

MaynerortsMelbourne city councillor Stephen Mayne’s tilt for the Presidency of the Municipal Association of Victoria has predictably run into controversy, with claims that he’s attempted to corrupt the ballot with a procedural rort.

Mayne, recently boned from a paid gig with the Australian Shareholders’ Association, has been keen to replace that salary with the $60K+ paid to the MAV president. VEXNEWS understands Mayne has told fellow Melbourne councillors that he “needs the extra money” to properly discharge his council duties. The councillor doesn’t live or work or conduct business in the City of Melbourne, which gave rise to concerns about his electoral eligibility.

He’s up against the well-regarded, veteran councillor Bill McArthur in Golden Plains Shire outside Geelong. Local government sources familiar with the ballot say McArthur laughed about the prospect of facing such a divisive, unpopular and apparently troubled opponent.

The MAV is a strange creature of statute that is also a lobby group for local councils. The NUW’s ambitious Geoff Lake was its president for a long time but traditionally it is a non-political and not especially high-profile role.

The organisation, as we have previously explored, is really run by its long-term boss, smooth operator Rob Spence and his charming underling Alison Lyon. We were probably a bit harsh on Señor Spence at the time, but that’s how we roll.

The prospect of the sociopathic Mayne being elected would normally fill us with joy, anticipating the excellent copy that would flow as a result, given his record of organisational dismemberment at every previous place of employment or engagement, including most recently at the Shareholders’ Association, the Manningham council, the People Power party, Crikey and pretty much everywhere else he’s been. There’s no evidence of too much carnage yet at the City of Melbourne but he’s only been on there for a few months so hopeful observers waiting for bloodshed shouldn’t be disappointed ultimately.

Mayne hasn’t let us down in his conduct in the MAV ballot with documents obtained by VEXNEWS revealing his attempts to muscle the MAV hierarchy into a procedural irregularity that would have improperly advantaged him in the election.

He wrote to the MAV boss Rob Spence as follows:

From: Stephen Mayne [mailto:stephen@maynereport.com
Sent: Friday, 22 February 2013 11:54 AM
To: Rob Spence; Alison Lyon; andrew.munroe@whitehorse.vic.gov.au; Keegan.Bartlett@vec.vic.gov.au; Liz.WILLIAMS@vec.vic.gov.au; bmcarthur@vic.chariot.net.au
Subject: request for issuance of replacement ballots

Dear Rob, Alison, Liz Williams, Keegan, Bill and Cr Andrew Munroe,

An issue has emerged at the Shire of Yarra Ranges where their MAV delegate, in an act of very poor governance, has voted without consulting council colleagues.

The issue is sensitive because one of the councillors not consulted was Cr Samantha Dunn, the recently re-elected President of the VLGA.

MAV and VLGA recently collaborated on the Good Governance Guidelines and some of the Yarra Ranges councillors are in a quandary.

If they were to pass a motion in open council next week seeking to change the Yarra Ranges vote, the question arises of how this would be handled by the VEC and the MAV.

I’ve spoken to Keegan Bartlett, the VEC’s returning officer for the MAV election, and he advises that the specific rules for this MAV election are silent on the question of whether a council can be issued a replacement ballot paper after their delegate has voted.

However, he did say that general election practice would normally not permit this to happen. Elections for representative bodies are different to normal political contests as the MAV delegate is meant to reflect the will of the council.

The scenario I’m envisaging is a formal council meeting next week where councillors vote in public to endorse an MAV candidate contrary to the vote already cast by the delegate without consulting council colleagues. And this may not be restricted to Yarra Ranges.

It is drummed into all of us that no individual councillor can do anything and that the chamber rules supreme on all issues.

Not so in the MAV election, it seems.

Therefore, this email is a formal request that MAV authorise the VEC to issue replacement ballots in either of these scenarios:

a.      After a request from the duly appointed delegate;

b.      In response to a formal request authorised in open council.

If agreed to, the effect of this situation is that a council whose delegate has prematurely voted without consulting their colleagues, could effectively neutralise the vote by casting a second vote. This would see both votes excluded. In other words, a council cannot change its vote, but it can effectively discard its first vote so that no vote is recorded.

Another reason for requesting this opportunity is the late-breaking developments on the constitutional recognition question.

I’ve canvassed the issues in this piece which appeared online at 11am and will be widely distributed in the Crikey email edition at about 1pm this afternoon: http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/02/22/decision-time-for-pms-promise-on-council-referendum-vote/

I understand that the two-day 14-hour ALGA board meeting in Canberra is scheduled to conclude at 3pm this afternoon, after which a press release may be issued outlining the final position on the proposed $10 million campaign fund to support constitutional recognition.

I believe MAV’s contribution to ALGA’s handling of the constitutional recognition question is a key element in this campaign and given that this information is emerging late in the MAV board voting process, councils should be given the right to reconsider their voting position based on new information.

However, the more important question here goes to the authorisation of a delegate to vote contrary to the will of the council’s publically expressed view in an open council meeting.

Before advising councils that they do have the option of neutralising their vote next week, I would like written confirmation that requests for replacement ballot papers will be accommodated.

If this request is to be rejected, could you please ensure that the full interim board is consulted first.

Kind regards
Stephen Mayne
Melbourne City Council delegate
Candidate for MAV President

To their credit, the MAV authorities were having none of his improper suggestion and put Mayne back in his place.

From: Alison Lyon [ALyon@mav.asn.au]
Sent: Friday, 22 February 2013 6:15 PM
To: Stephen Mayne; Rob Spence; Andrew Munroe; Keegan.Bartlett@vec.vic.gov.au; Liz.WILLIAMS@vec.vic.gov.au;bmcarthur@vic.chariot.net.au
Subject: RE: request for issuance of replacement ballots
 

Hi Stephen

We refer to your email below. 

The MAV Rules provide for the Council to appoint a representative. That representative has certain obligations including voting on State Council matters in accordance with either the resolution of his or her council or the view of the majority of Councillors where known. There is no similar constraint imposed by the Rules in relation to the manner in which the representative votes in an election of the President (or a regional representative).

 The Rules provide, in Schedule 2 , that the ‘the representative must mark his or her vote on the ballot paper delivered to him or her….’  making it clear that this is a responsibility personally discharged by the representative. The Rules further provide that duplicate voting material must be issued where, prior to the close of voting, a representative claims that the declaration envelope and/or the ballot paper is lost or destroyed or did not arrive.  This provision does not envisage the Returning Officer issuing duplicate ballot material in other circumstances.

Your proposal that a second ballot be issued on request of a representative or Council resolution in order to ‘neutralise’ the original vote does not accord with the Rules which provide that each Representative has one vote for the election of the President and one vote for the regional representative. Should there be some means by which the issue of a second ballot could be achieved, we do not see how a further vote that accords with the original preferences of the representative could be avoided.

 A Council may impose whatever protocols or processes it chooses on the manner in which it’s representative discharges his or her role however the breach of those protocols or processes would be a matter for the Council, not the MAV.

We note your request that the Interim Board be consulted in relation to this matter if your request for the issue of additional ballots is rejected. While we have blind copied the members of the Interim Board into this response, the Rules provide that the CEO, or a person or organisation appointed by the CEO is responsible for the conduct of the elections.  Our view is that the issues arising from your proposal do not accord with the electoral provisions of the Rules and therefore are not matters for the Interim Board.

Kind regards

Rob & Alison

Rob Spence | Chief Executive Officer | Municipal Association of Victoria
Level 12, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
GPO Box 4326, Melbourne Vic 3001
T 03 9667 55XX | F 03 9667 5550

 

UPDATE: Despite Mayne’s desperate and corrupt manoeuvres, Mayne lost, apparently coming last of the three candidates, with some speculating he got as few as three votes. Bill McArthur was elected.

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. I own a 7 acre bush block in Golden Plains and voted in the last shire election via postal ballot.

    Of the 12 candidates who stood for 7 councillor position only 3 bothered to put a contact phone number on their candidate statement. Bill MacArthur was NOT one of them.

    Golden Plains is a large sparsely populated rural shire that extends for outside Geelong to outside Ballaarat.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | February 25, 2013, 11:52
  2. Can I have an internship with President Mayne?

    Posted by Sasha Burden | February 25, 2013, 16:03
  3. We voted for Mayne to keep him away from us. His body odour management issues are enough to make vegan councillors not used to rotting meat smell chunder in the chamber.

    Posted by Rohan Lempdick | February 25, 2013, 16:06
  4. Thankfully this looks like another failed tilt by Mayne for office. Of course if he doesn’t get this gig it will leave him free to make a tilt for the Senate or maybe his electorate of Menzies…now that would be fun to watch him face up to Kevin Andrews and go down yet again! Of course, he’d no doubt run his wife, the lovely Ms Paula Piccinni, as his stooge. I can understand why she didn’t become a Mayne! LOL

    Posted by Horace | February 25, 2013, 17:52
  5. The MAV CEO is correct. This is a secret ballot and the rules do not require the delegate to consult with his or her Council. Presumably the Council has chosen a member that Council trusts to vote in accordance with its expressed wishes on matters where the Council has formed a view.

    I am sure Charles Richardson and Stephen Luntz would be horrified by the prospect of some Councils getting two votes and other Councils only one and the presumption that the later vote would nullify the earlier one. This would require the delegate to disclose how he or she voted in a secret ballot. Sounds a lot like the Soviets and the Chinese and Cubans to me. It also sounds like Bill Hartley’s ALP before Federal intervention.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | February 25, 2013, 18:22
  6. needs to catch up with another corrupt dog DEAN MIGHELL.

    Posted by jimmy | February 25, 2013, 20:52
  7. I think you are all being unkind. Poor Stephen needs psychiatric help, and a decent deoderant and mouth wash. His breath is possibly worse than Phil Honeywood, and that’s a big claim!

    Posted by Roy Tuswell Seat Sniffer | February 26, 2013, 6:29
  8. Readers are advised to seek alternative independent advice and not rely on comments made by ex-City of Melbourne governance officer Alison Lyons. Ms Lyons spent over $60,00o of ratepayers money trying to prevent the release and publication of City of Melbourne election results for what should have cost just $1.

    VCAT without reserving their decision rejected the specious claims put forward my Ms Lyons who continued to misuse and abuse her position to pursue a personal political agenda, ignoring established Council policy and professional ethic.

    A Council should have the right to reconsider and resubmit a vote cast in its name any time prior to the close of the ballot. This is the case available for any voter in a Postal ballot. If two or more ballots are recorded then the ballot with the latest data would prevail.

    WHAT IS NOT DISCUSSED in the above article is that Stephen Mayne does not have the full support of the Melbourne City Council with many Councillors concerned about Stephen Mayne’s hidden agenda. Whilst Stephen Mayne managed secure support from the city Council to rejoin the MAV at a cost to ratepayers of $54K a year.

    Should Mayne be elected President of the MAV what would happen if the City Council no longer supports the continuation of the Council’s MAV membership or Stephen Mayne’s entitlement to remain a City Council is brought into question?

    Mayne entitlement to remain a City Councillor is due to a deal cut with pollster Gary Morgan from whom Stephen Mayne rents a desk in a “loft”.

    Posted by Melbcity | February 26, 2013, 12:14
  9. If Stephen Mayne is evicted from Gary Morgan’s Collins Street loft, or it is discovered he has no entitlement, he has limited time to regain entitlement before losing his right to remain `City Councillor.

    Under the Victorian Local Government Act a Councillor must maintain their entitlement to remain on the electoral roll.

    Posted by Lord Robert | February 26, 2013, 12:26
  10. I have just reviewed the minutes of the City of Melbourne and their is no resolution of support for Stephen Mayne’s candidacy. does this mean that Stephen Mayne will act on his own volition and cast a vote for himself without express authority or will of the elected Council? This raises a number of issues related to the MAV representative model.

    If Stephen Mayne is elected MAV President is the City of Melbourne liable to reimburse Councillor Mayne for any costs arising from his role as MAV president as they do with Cathy Oake expenses as an executive member of ICLEI?

    Posted by Melbourne constituent | February 26, 2013, 12:50
  11. I’ll vote for you stephen if I can suck your….

    Posted by Cr.Craig | February 26, 2013, 16:47
  12. The MAV is enough. Why do we ratepayers have to fund the VLGA as well?

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | February 27, 2013, 15:52
  13. I thought David Rockefeller reimburses ICLEI members? Fucking globalist parasites

    Posted by amadeus | February 28, 2013, 0:29
  14. The delegates saw sense and put Mayne last. A sound defeat! Shame 13 couldn’t see through him! Well done Bill on your third win..and congratulations Andrew for having a go.

    Posted by Horace | March 2, 2013, 6:33
  15. And Guy gave him a serve on 774 on Friday.

    Showed Mayne up as incompetent in the planning portfolio he has at Melbourne Council.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 2, 2013, 18:42
  16. Mayne is a tosser – He only polled 14 primary MAV delegate votes in the Presidential poll.
    Every one l know across Local Government see him as a rank opportunist.

    Posted by Former Mayor | March 3, 2013, 21:05

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