Last night’s council meeting included another first – the refusal to allow a councillor his requested time extension. This occurred on the ‘debate’ for progressing the multi-storey car parks in Bentleigh and Elsternwick to the next stage – ie design, background reports, feasibility studies etc.

Zyngier rose to speak against the motion to proceed. He spoke for his 3 allotted minutes and then requested a time extension of 6 minutes. Magee replied that he would consider another 3 minutes first and then see how far Zyngier had got with his statements. The motion to allow the three minute extension was put and voted down. Those opposing the time extension were: Esakoff, Cade, Parasol, and Zmood. Given that Pilling and Athanasopolous were absent, these councillors constituted the majority.

Only Zhang later in the ‘debate’ commented how disappointing it was that this occurred.

It is indeed another sad day for Glen Eira when a councillor is denied his right to speak for more than 3 minutes. To the best of our knowledge, this has not occurred previously. Whatever Zyngier had wanted to say is not the issue. Nor is the final voting the issue. What is the issue, is how politics has come to play a major role in many council decisions and this applies to both sides!

Since none of the above 4 councillors provided reasons for their decision to disallow Zyngier his requested time, we have no idea why they voted the way they did. Simply not good enough.

On another matter, it seems that McKenzie has adopted the Paul Burke method of reading out public questions as fast as she possibly can in a steady monotone, making it difficult to follow the intricacies of the question for those listening or viewing. This was not the case 6 months ago!