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More drama at the Belconnen Community Council

By Barcham 4 April 2013 24

The Belconnen Community Council Public Officer Brian Rynehart has had his competency called into question by perennial Liberal candidate Matthew Watts. Watts claims that Rynehart has failed in his official responsibilities and is calling for an inquiry into Rynehart’s suitability.

The full email discussion is available here, for those who are interested.


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More drama at the Belconnen Community Council
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tuco 3:09 pm 05 Apr 13

So, do they sell tickets for this, or can you just rock up? Any rules on barracking?

dpm 2:21 pm 05 Apr 13

damien haas said :

Yes actually, there are formalities which need to be followed, champ. Such as accounts being audited and returns submitted to the ORS. Im in other orgs that also comply with these requirements but are very easy going and stress free..

If the ORS involvment is only due to public funds being involved, then I suggest another option would be to simply stop giving them taxpayer money, especially after this lame-arsed debacle. Not to mention the Tugg CC which also appears to be a mess ( http://the-riotact.com/tales-from-tuggeranong-tcc-update/99540 ) .

So they simply have to hand in some paperwork annually (while acting like clowns to the general public the rest of the year) to get ongoing public funding? Great…..
And what do they spend the $ on anyway? Room hire, printing, and some food perhaps? Oh, and maybe the video camera to film the volatile meetings there? Or do they take ‘educational junkets’ around the world to see what other CCs are doing? Hahaha!

460cixy 1:51 pm 05 Apr 13

I’m going to the next meeting popcorn in hand

Duffbowl 1:04 pm 05 Apr 13

Starting to think that the Fourecksians have the right idea…

damien haas 12:58 pm 05 Apr 13

Cameron said :

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Yes. You don’t need to be over-the-top formal to comply with legislation, champ.

As for the rest of your post, it strikes me as a power struggle between two factions in an inconsequential community organisation. One faction wants the “social club” thing and no endorsed political candidates (social club aside, the political candidate thing makes sense to me – it’s a community council, keep the parties away from it) and the other faction wants a more formal, rigid process and doesn’t seem to mind about the endorsed candidate thing.

Both factions are carrying on like twits, and other than being bemused, I doubt many other people care.

Yes actually, there are formalities which need to be followed, champ. Such as accounts being audited and returns submitted to the ORS. Im in other orgs that also comply with these requirements but are very easy going and stress free.

Sadly it has devolved into an ugly brawl, but it was simply initially an election where one party lost. Then her supporters started to behave quite viciously. Several people have left as a result of the behaviour. Its appalling. Im determined to stick it out and assist Matt in cleaning the mess up.

NoImRight 12:41 pm 05 Apr 13

Cameron said :

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Yes. You don’t need to be over-the-top formal to comply with legislation, champ.

As for the rest of your post, it strikes me as a power struggle between two factions in an inconsequential community organisation. One faction wants the “social club” thing and no endorsed political candidates (social club aside, the political candidate thing makes sense to me – it’s a community council, keep the parties away from it) and the other faction wants a more formal, rigid process and doesn’t seem to mind about the endorsed candidate thing.

Both factions are carrying on like twits, and other than being bemused, I doubt many other people care.

Tend to agree. Maybe this change is aimed at one person or maybe its aimed at discouraging people with no real interest working in the Council beyond as a stepping stone to a dreamed of glittering career in politics?

Jim Jones 12:36 pm 05 Apr 13

Cameron said :

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Yes. You don’t need to be over-the-top formal to comply with legislation, champ.

As for the rest of your post, it strikes me as a power struggle between two factions in an inconsequential community organisation. One faction wants the “social club” thing and no endorsed political candidates (social club aside, the political candidate thing makes sense to me – it’s a community council, keep the parties away from it) and the other faction wants a more formal, rigid process and doesn’t seem to mind about the endorsed candidate thing.

Both factions are carrying on like twits, and other than being bemused, I doubt many other people care.

You’ve got no idea how nice it is to have someone with no actual idea what’s going on to offer their expert opinion and call other people ‘champ’.

Cameron 12:24 pm 05 Apr 13

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Yes. You don’t need to be over-the-top formal to comply with legislation, champ.

As for the rest of your post, it strikes me as a power struggle between two factions in an inconsequential community organisation. One faction wants the “social club” thing and no endorsed political candidates (social club aside, the political candidate thing makes sense to me – it’s a community council, keep the parties away from it) and the other faction wants a more formal, rigid process and doesn’t seem to mind about the endorsed candidate thing.

Both factions are carrying on like twits, and other than being bemused, I doubt many other people care.

NoImRight 9:48 am 05 Apr 13

460cixy said :

Matty should taken up the thugs offer and sorted the situation outside could of been interesting

I see a new era in politics. “Two men enter. One man leaves”.

Obviously at this stage BCC should face the wheel.

rosscoact 9:07 am 05 Apr 13

screaming banshee said :

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Community councils receive funding from the ACT government, I’m not aware of what percentage

Matt_Watts 8:36 am 05 Apr 13

screaming banshee said :

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Community Councils do receive public funds. I suggest a well-run Community Council deserves some funding, to communicate with residents etc in lieu of direct government expenditure on public consultation etc. A poorly run Community Council, I agree, is a waste of public funds.

460cixy 8:09 am 05 Apr 13

Matty should taken up the thugs offer and sorted the situation outside could of been interesting

screaming banshee 6:50 am 05 Apr 13

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Dacquiri 11:42 pm 04 Apr 13

Community councils seems to vary a lot — as you would perhaps expect from voluntary organisations of this nature (really, shouldn’t members of the Committee be elected by the residents of the relevant catchment area?). My impression is that Woden Valley Community Council, for example, benefits from good leadership, with Dr Jenny Stewart (particular interests and expertise in urban planning and government decision-making) at the helm and Committee members such as Shirley Lithgow (with a serious interest in community engagement). Interestingly, WVCC states that they have, ‘a statutory responsibility to seek comment and respond to Government on proposed developments in the Woden Valley,’ so they actually take positions on things — for example, actively opposing the Woden 9 development and other high developments in Woden. I could find no statement on the Belconnen CC website which indicates what they believe the Council’s purpose and role are, but, based on past performance and statements, it seems to be more along the lines of providing a forum for information and discussion.

Mr Evil 10:40 pm 04 Apr 13

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Matt has been attempting to bring order and accountability to the BCC and has been met with clownish opposition. His greatest crime is that he put himself forward and defeated the incumbent president.

For far too long the BCC has been run as a social club, with infrequent committee meetings (3 in 18 months), financial decisions made without reference to other committee members, lax paperwork leading to the BCC being fined on several occasions (never revealed to the committee may I add).

I could go on, but i’m labouring the point.

The ORS investigated and determined that the previous AGM was invalid because of incompetence by the Public Officer in failing to complete the AGM paperwork and present the audited returns. this finding completely undermines all the bizarre claims made by Matts opponents, in their attempts to discredit him. Indeed, the ORS has been silent on those claims.

Matt has been defamed and pilloried by several BCC Committee members, with vicious and unwarranted personal attacks and quite aggressive insults and threats levelled – in public, private and via email.

At the March meeting one of these people became very aggressive and thuggish. I seriously believed Matt was likely to be physically assaulted by one person in particular, who after yelling at him and insulting him with vile language departed and then returned to berate him again, challenging him to a fistfight. i should add that Matt had been largely silent throughout the meeting, and the aggressive behaviour was unwarranted.

But you dont have to believe me, and accept my account of events. This is all captured on video. Curiously the video has not been made public.

Really, its all just very sad.

Serious issues the BCC could take a role in as a community forum, and a body with representation on several ACT Government consultation forums and processes, have been ignored or opportunities have been wasted. The BCC needs to be more than just a monthly venue for the latest ACT Government dept to tick off its community consultation box.

In the six months since Matt was undermined and deposed illegally by the Vice President/Public Officer and the old social club gang, do you know what their only major effort has been committed to (apart from undermining Matt) ? They have been diligently focused on writing a new constitution, that has a provision that anyone who has been preselected as a political candidate be ineligible for membership of the BCC. Its solely aimed at Matt.

Sad and pathetic.

These people need to be replaced. I’d urge anyone eligible to vote at a BCC meeting to attend on the 16th of April and vote as their conscience dictates.

So typical in Canberra that people can get away with running a community organisation like this.

damien haas 9:00 pm 04 Apr 13

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Matt has been attempting to bring order and accountability to the BCC and has been met with clownish opposition. His greatest crime is that he put himself forward and defeated the incumbent president.

For far too long the BCC has been run as a social club, with infrequent committee meetings (3 in 18 months), financial decisions made without reference to other committee members, lax paperwork leading to the BCC being fined on several occasions (never revealed to the committee may I add).

I could go on, but i’m labouring the point.

The ORS investigated and determined that the previous AGM was invalid because of incompetence by the Public Officer in failing to complete the AGM paperwork and present the audited returns. this finding completely undermines all the bizarre claims made by Matts opponents, in their attempts to discredit him. Indeed, the ORS has been silent on those claims.

Matt has been defamed and pilloried by several BCC Committee members, with vicious and unwarranted personal attacks and quite aggressive insults and threats levelled – in public, private and via email.

At the March meeting one of these people became very aggressive and thuggish. I seriously believed Matt was likely to be physically assaulted by one person in particular, who after yelling at him and insulting him with vile language departed and then returned to berate him again, challenging him to a fistfight. i should add that Matt had been largely silent throughout the meeting, and the aggressive behaviour was unwarranted.

But you dont have to believe me, and accept my account of events. This is all captured on video. Curiously the video has not been made public.

Really, its all just very sad.

Serious issues the BCC could take a role in as a community forum, and a body with representation on several ACT Government consultation forums and processes, have been ignored or opportunities have been wasted. The BCC needs to be more than just a monthly venue for the latest ACT Government dept to tick off its community consultation box.

In the six months since Matt was undermined and deposed illegally by the Vice President/Public Officer and the old social club gang, do you know what their only major effort has been committed to (apart from undermining Matt) ? They have been diligently focused on writing a new constitution, that has a provision that anyone who has been preselected as a political candidate be ineligible for membership of the BCC. Its solely aimed at Matt.

Sad and pathetic.

These people need to be replaced. I’d urge anyone eligible to vote at a BCC meeting to attend on the 16th of April and vote as their conscience dictates.

Matt_Watts 8:14 pm 04 Apr 13

Mr Evil said :

Nice article in one of the papers last week(?), about a current member of the BCC wanting to take things outside into the carpark during the meeting held recently!

Sounds like a nice bunch of tosspots running the show.

He is no longer a member.

el 8:04 pm 04 Apr 13

Mr Evil said :

Nice article in one of the papers last week(?), about a current member of the BCC wanting to take things outside into the carpark during the meeting held recently!

Sounds like a nice bunch of tosspots running the show.

Indeed, although I wonder if similar ‘processes’ could be introduced to the Legislative Assembly?

no idea 8:01 pm 04 Apr 13

Matt, just wants someone other than Damien to love and adore him

Cameron 7:47 pm 04 Apr 13

Seriously? This isn’t a joke? Some sort of delayed April Fools Day prank?

“Matt Watts JP, *Member of the Belconnen Community Council, *Officially declared President of the Belconnen Community Council by the Public Officer, September 2012, *Former Committee Member of the Belconnen Community Council (ie I am not officially recognised as a current Committee Member by the Office of Regulatory Services because the Public Officer has not been able to accurately reflected the will of the members to the Office of Regulatory Services)”

Imagine that on a business card.

The AGM for a bunch of incorporated associations I’ve been involved with have consisted of a BBQ and a few beers. The BCC obviously take themselves waaaaay too seriously for a community council with the same level of legislative power as I have.

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