So you want to be a councillor
With the date for election of a mayor and four councillors for the new Douglas Shire Council now announced, I feel it is necessary for the committee overviewing the transition from CRC to DSC to organise two meetings. The two meetings needed are: [a] To firstly assist people who aspire to becoming a councillor, to make them aware of what the job entails, what is expected of them, what the work load will be, what governance skills they require, what knowledge is needed, how they should be studying to understand how the council works, understanding meeting procedures, becoming aware of the necessity for consultation with the public, knowing how budgeting is planned, becoming aware of how to deal with the media etc etc. Such a meeting may deter some potential candidates from nominating, but on the other hand, it may encourage others to nominate. Such a meeting called ‘‘So you want to be a Councillor’’ needs to be publicised and an invitation given to all intending to stand, to attend such a meeting. [b] The second meeting that is required is a public forum, whereby each of the candidates who have nominated for the ballot, be invited to: (i) stand up and introduce themselves, talk about their skills and experiences and describe why we, the general public, should vote for them on election day; and (ii) be prepared to answer questions from the floor. I am aware that the transition officer, Mr Geoff Tate, is working very well and people appreciate his role and the plans coming to fruition. However, there is a general feeling in the community that people are concerned about who the candidates will be and how well they will do this most important job in our new council. I think the Transition Committee needs to take on the role of organising the two meetings suggested. If this is not part of their role then maybe you as the Editor, with help from some members of the community, should be prepared to initiate the suggestions above. It is vital that we assist potential candidates prior to nomination and then importantly, enlighten the public about the candidates they will be voting for. The passion and commitment by all concerned in the lead up to the vote to deamalgamate, needs now to be harnessed to ensure we have a talented, hardworking council to get the DSC "on track" for an independent and positive future. This new council will overview one of the most important segments in ther history of the DSC, so we must get the four most talented and committed councillors with a visionary and conciliatory mayor. excited to represent this region in a Coalition Government. I look forward to being an ’enabler’ when it comes to implementing some of the very positive initiatives and projects that have been developed here over the last three years. I promise you that I will continue to celebrate the successes of our region, highlight the challenges we face, identify viable and workable solutions, encourage investment, and be a strong and passionate advocate for those groups and individuals who need my support. Your assistance will help me deliver more for the Far North and enable the Coalition to restore hope, reward and opportunity for all Australians. If you have any local issues you feel need attention, please contact me on 07 4051 2220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again Leichhardt, I won’t let you down.