One can only assume Geoff Lake orchestrated (as he seems to take the credit for EVERYTHING at Monash Council) a very late distribution of Monash Rate notices last week – to include a father-son photo opportunity (although his child looks very uncomfortable – not happy, even fearful?) as part of his “I’m like any other father” election spin promoted to all ratepayers, at OUR expense.
This manipulation of Council operations again shows contempt for ratepayers who need to have rates in a timely manner. The timing of the rate notice distribution should not be devised to suit him and the election cycle. Last year the rate notices were sent 20 July 2015. This year, after 22 August 2016. Why the difference? – this is an election year so the later the distribution, the better, for a Mayoral Message to gain support for re-election.
On the Monash website “Monash ratepayers received their 2016/17 rate notice in the week beginning Monday 22 August 2016.”
However people wishing to pay in ten instalments have less than a week from receipt of Rate Notice to the day the first of ten instalments is due by Thurs 1 Sept or they must choose a more onerous option.
This is more crucial to lower income families and pensioners who most often work finances on a fortnightly cycle; may not be well; cannot do internet banking. For instance – aged pensions are paid Tues 6/9 and Thur 8/9 next week – and they got their notices in the mail last Wed 24/8 or Thurs 25/8. Any time for them to save? NO! In fact, the lack of lead time between receipt of notice and preferred payment option deadline could disadvantage any ratepayer.
The second page of the rate notice warns that “For Both Four and Ten Instalment options. If your first payment is late, it will only be accepted as part payment only. You will not be placed on an instalment plan and the balance of rates charges and levies will be due I full by 15 February 2017.”
Contrast the City of Greater Dandenong – where rate notices went out a month earlier on 22 July and the 1st of nine instalments is due 30 Sept. The City of Greater Dandenong Council is way more attune to accommodating the needs of its residents – it already live streams council meetings too!
This poor treatment demonstrates how out of touch the Mayor is – he is so self-centred he concentrates on self-promotion rather than assisting Ratepayers with time to pay. Providing less than a week to begin and be eligible for 10 instalments is unheard of.
A letter of complaint by Monash Ratepayers will be sent to the Mayor and the CEO on this poor service delivery by Monash Council in its contemptable treatment of ratepayers.
And as the Mayor repeats his lowest rates spin – Lake’s motion on Agenda 7.7 Monash Council Meeting 30/8/2016 proposes adding a Waste and Environment Charge on top of our rates from 2017 rates.