Happy birthday MV Blog!
It’s one year since I began the process of documenting MV Council meetings and writing feature pieces on controversial decisions affecting our community.
Since last May, the MV Blog has enjoyed:
- 10,000 views
- 7000 visitors
- 290 followers on Facebook (more are welcome!)
- 42 posts
- covering 24 council meetings and
- 18 feature pieces.
- The highest performing week in March 2018 had 2000 views and 1500 visitors.
Issues covered in depth have included:
- the Flemington Housing Estate development,
- the AEC boundary reviews,
- the Buckley St level crossing,
- councillor behaviour,
- meeting conduct – and
- the MV2040 proposal.
Thank you to all the residents who have engaged with ‘the blog’ – by reading, commenting, messaging and convincing me that we have a community that really cares about the decisions made at the local government level.
I set out to keep a record of council meetings given that the minutes give little information about the debates, and we have only one local paper with one journalist covering our local council.
I didn’t set out to write ‘news’ articles or feature pieces – but the explainers and opinion pieces have been the most popular with readers.
The fortnightly reports on Council meetings have a loyal following with people often commenting they have valued being able to look up a particular item and see what comments were made in the debate.
Since the blog began, MVCC has commenced live streaming of meetings which makes it much easier for people to access meetings (yay!). The blog is an additional short cut for people who don’t have time to watch the recorded meetings.
In the coming weeks, the blog will continue to report on MV2040, the budget and major council decisions. I’ll also look at ways of improving the meeting coverage to make it easier for residents to know what Council is considering, and what decisions have been made.
I plan to continue the blog for as long as possible – or for as long as it is useful for MV residents.
Here are some of the memorable moments from MVCC over the past year:
- Cr Sipek referring to the goats and chicken farms of our “forefathers” in Niddrie on 9 May 2017
- The protracted argument about whether a dog park should have some grass on 23 May 2017
- The epic debate about a planning application for Russell St Moonee Ponds on 13 June 2017
- A long debate about whether councillors deserve an increase in pay on 27 June 2017 (the majority decided no)
- Council refusing to buy Strathaird Rsve from VicRoads on 25 July (boooo)
- Council adopting a Marriage Equality Statement on 12 September
- Efforts to ask the state government and LXRA for information justifying the road under rail Buckley St crossing on 12 December
- Council voting against taking legal action with respect to the Buckley St level crossing on 13 February (boooo) and the meeting being shut down by the Mayor
- Council losing quorum to decide a matter for the MVRC because of a conflict of interest resulting from hospitality received, and debating for hours about whether councillors should declare properties, political parties or neither on 27 February
- Council voting against a motion to confirm January 26 as Australia Day on 27 March
- Council supporting consultation on a $50M redevelopment of the East Keilor Leisure Centre on 10 April
- Residents being asked to provide feedback on hundreds of pages of documents setting out spending in MV for the next 22 years… on 24 April