THE race to the September 10 council election is well and truly on. There are 26 candidates running for a position on council with three candidates throwing their hat in the ring for the top job of mayor.
Mayoral and councillor candidates are Peter Besseling and Sharon Griffiths who hope to be reinstated for another four-year term while Peta Pinson will contest the mayor’s race only. Between now and September 10, you as ratepayers and voters must gather the facts and make sense of the campaigning. Before you number your ballot paper, be certain you know who you are voting for.
At no other level of government do you have the opportunity to select the right mix of candidates to represent your local concerns on your behalf. It is important to get that mix of personalities right. We need to be led by a team of people united in the cause to the make the right decisions for our community so that now and into the future our region prospers.
There is no doubt that all candidates who have stepped up to the line are there for a reason – to make a difference. And all candidates will be motivated by different agendas. What you need to do as ratepayers is ask questions, challenge facts, seek out information so your vote counts on election day and we end up with nine of the best representatives to lead us into the next four years.
And we will do the same.
At this local government election there are five groups standing for councillor election – two of those groups are listed as Independents, one represents Country Labor, the other The Greens. Then there are six candidates running as ungrouped Independent candidates. One candidate is running as an Independent for the mayoral position only.
The old adage that council’s primary focus should be ‘rates, roads and rubbish’ still stands true to some degree. But going into this election what more do we expect from our candidates – many who are standing for the first time – transparency, integrity, rectitude? Perhaps the fortitude to deal with what needs doing, the vision for longer term goals and the ability to deliver those ideals?
Are you going to make your vote count or be complacent? If it’s the latter, then do you have the right over the next four years to broadly knock council’s decision-making on issues affecting you? Be a part of the process and continue to have your voice heard at every opportunity post-election.