Archive:   Council Committees

Last Updated  29/3/10


Absolute Shocker As Council Appoints MRRS Ltd Director To Audit Advisory Committee

(12/3/09 - C)  Rejected by voters, but Fritz Boegel makes it onto Council committee via a vote held behind closed doors, and then Council unanimously approves a contested application to expand the Clock and Beaver restaurant.  


Details are sketchy but advice from Council, in response to a question put by MRRA, is that Fritz Boegel, secretary of Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd, has been appointed to be a community representative on Council's Audit Advisory Committee. 


Draft Council Minutes for the February 25 Council meeting include Item CS.5, Appointment of Community Representatives on Audit Advisory Committee.  At this item, according to the Minutes say that the Officer Recommendation was to consider the matter "at the conclusion of that part of this meeting open to the public." ..."as this report concerns matters which Council considers would prejudice the Council or an (sic) person..."  The motion to move behind closed doors was moved Joe Morabito, seconded Rob Guthrie and carried. There is no record in the Minutes of any resolution resulting from the sojourn in camera, and as far as MRRA is aware, neither has any public announcement been made of the appointment/s. 


The next item on the agenda was CS.6, the appointment of Councillor Delegates on the Audit Advisory Committee.  That is, which Councillors would be on the committee.  The Mayor is automatically appointed.  According to the minutes, it was moved Cr. Guthrie, seconded Cr. Relph and carried that Cr. Joe Morabito be appointed as the Councillor delegate on the committee.


MRRA Says:


Rumours that Audit Committee appointees may be of interest started filtering in, so we followed it up with Council. 


Three things really stand out here. 


First, in 2008 when the company, MRRS Ltd, began splashing itself over local papers claiming to be a community group, MRRA wrote to Council requesting confirmation or otherwise of any Council involvement with MRRS Ltd.  The answer we received was 'none'.  An election later, it seems Council now has a very definite involvement with MRRS Ltd! 


Second, the secrecy surrounding Mr. Boegel's appointment.  Why did Council seal itself off behind closed doors to make a decision? What was so private it couldn't be considered in public, or the outcome announced in public?  Is it a case of Councillors being brave enough to 'do the deed' but not having the guts to tell anyone?  Hmm?  Because we wouldn't be surprised if that's what some people are going to say it looks like.


Third, Council's decision on who was appointed to the committee is not recorded in the Minutes.  All that is recorded is the motion to make the decision behind doors.  Yet Section 93 of the Local Government Act at subsection (6) says that "the minutes of a meeting of the Council or a special committee must - (a) contain details of the proceedings and resolutions made...".   So how does what is in the Minutes (or not in the Minutes, in this case) sit with the requirements of the legislation?


We don't know which Councillors voted for the appointment (seems that's a secret too), but at a minimum a majority of 5 Councillors did.  Maybe they all did!  Being anonymous could be helpful - when we asked a couple of people if they had heard anything, they expressed horror at the thought of MRRS Ltd having anything to do with Council.


The appointments are, we understand, for a year.  The makeup of the committee appears to be Cr.Morabito, Mr. Boegel, Mr. Barry Sutton (who may have an affiliation with the Macedon Ranges Landowners Group), Mayor Letchford, and another community representative who, as told to us, has a background in financial matters.


When we look at this, and the Kyneton pool debacle, Council definitely isn't off to a good start, is it...  And we've got 4 more years of it to look forward to. 


Click here to see the MRRS Ltd. file, including the current item on the application before Council for a rather large expansion of the Clock and Beaver restaurant in Macedon, in which Mr. Boegel has an interest. 


NOTE: Council last night voted unanimously to approve the Clock and Beaver application to expand the venue from 20 seats to 100, and partially waive car parking requirements.  We understand 9 objections were received. 


Lucky Mr. Boegel, he certainly seems to have a Midas touch when it comes to Council these days!



Council Calls For Community Nominations for Environment Committee

(21/6/07 - C)  3 vacancies exist, and nominations close by 29th June

Click here for contact details.