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The pain of Mayne

20120804-164911.jpgDisgraced ex-Manningham councillor Stephen Mayne has quit the council he dragged into the gutter the past three years.

The reason?

Because of an extensive complaint made against him by long-suffering Manningham councillors who’d been bullied and terrorised by him since he was elected on a platform pledging more transparency and acccountability.

Because he resigned shortly after the complaint was made, the Municipal Association of Victoria’s councillor conduct panel (they’d quickly appointed two people to hear it apparently) would no longer be able to hear the complaint, which involved gravely serious charges of municipal wrongdoing, interference with tenders and other improprieties.

In his resignation rant, which will give many much food for thought as they contemplate what damage could be done to the Melbourne City Council should he be elected there, he whines VEXNEWS would or was going to or intended to write about the councillor conduct panel in a way that would hurt his feelings.

As any perusal of this site shows, we have made no reference to the serious charges against him beyond linking to a couple of local newspaper reports in our strangely popular VEXNEWS newsfeed service. These reports were written by local Murdoch/Fairfax scribes who seem to give Mayne a reasonable run, presumably because as a trouble-maker he’s easy copy.

Mayne may not be able to escape justice altogether though, local government sources tell VEXNEWS. The Local Government inspectorate could still pursue the criminal aspects of the complaint made against Mayne, especially as they relate to improper interference with tenders and conflicts of interest matters that could see him punished with a term of imprisonment or lead him to have a seven-year ban from council service.

The brutalised Manningham councillors took a long time to respond to Mayne. They are mostly nice people, locals say, who struggled to comprehend why Mayne was treating them so shabbily, engaging in constant passive-aggressive mind-games (usually by email), persistently accusing them of corruption and wrongdoing, frequently denouncing them in his little-read conspiracy theorist email newsletter and so on.

In the end, this group of not-especially-political local suburban councillors took to referring to Mayne in official press releases as a “cancer.”

Strong language, even for VEX, but for a group of local councillors still reeling from three years of battling a sociopath, it signals just how ugly his behaviour has been to prompt the meek and mild into such emphatically expressed views.

While much of the damage is already done, they have at least had some kind of victory with Mayne’s ousting.

Locals tell VEXNEWS there was laughter, joy, air-punching and then a period of quiet reflection when it was clear – that in Manningham at least – the witch was dead.

Will it re-emerge in Melbourne?

While we don’t like betting at all, we’d be theoretically willing to wager with anyone that – should Mayne be elected – the cancer of his misconduct will also eat away at the now mostly good reputation of Melbourne’s city council. It is not unreasonable to expect that he will utterly destabilise it in his customary way.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle expects to be comfortably re-elected. But the looming prospect of Mayne’s arrival should have him very worried indeed.

Mayne is a vacuous loon who gets frustrated when his ill-considered ideas are laughed off by the genuine and the serious.

His resignation missive – for example – contains an impressively Mussolini-esque suggestion that local government councillors ought be able to be appointed by an “independent commission” and that ratepayers’ funds ought support “online journalism ventures” (ahem, like his past one that never made a profit until he sold it to a rich egomaniac who wanted to big-note himself) to provide “independent” coverage of municipal madness. Oh yes, there’d be nothing like councillor-awarded subsidy to encourage independence in reporting.

These are just of the most recent wacky, ill-conceived ideas he proposes.

So – assuming he can find a Lord Mayoral wood-duck to get himself elected to the Melbourne council where ideas like the half-baked, pompous, know-all, wrong-headed, inane, stupid ones above will get thrown up by him, and rejected by a sensible majority who know better, he’ll do to them exactly to them what he did to former colleagues at the Herald Sun, the Liberal party, the Kennett government, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, the Financial Review, co-founders at Crikey and fellow councillors at Manningham. He’ll attempt to poison them with his venom.

Mark our words.


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  1. Mayne only polled 4% in the Melbourne by election. Why would he improve at the Council election as there will be more candidates?

    Posted by Is Mayne still running for the Melbourne City Council | August 4, 2012, 15:40
  2. Hey Steve remember your succesful People Power foray.What a wanker.

    Posted by the scribe | August 6, 2012, 8:32


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