THERE weren’t any ward divisions marked out for the new shire elections, but the result of the voting looks as if a majority of ratepayers thought there were.
And the persistent rumours of political groupings despite professions to the contrary by the candidates add to the impression that the council election had some carry over from the past – not exactly the clean slate, the break with the past, etc etc many people were hoping for.
But the lack of ward divisions has an upside in that every councillor is now accountable to the electorate as a whole.
It means that at the next election at the end of this shortened term the voters will get a chance to punish councillors they deem to have failed to act sufficiently in their best interests.
It is still possible to be optimistic about the prospects for a cohesive council out of those elected this time.
The upside is that they are well educated and in most cases politically experienced people, several with a deep understanding of the prior council’s affairs.
But even before their deliberations begin there is an imperative to sort out the new shire’s thorny headcount problem and the matter of how much money is in the kitty. We’ll know this last one around the end of the month.
Meanwhile, congratulations to mayorelect Julia Leu on her huge win and to all the councillors who have taken on the challenge and hard work of representing us.