I am standing for council as I believe I have a lot to offer the community. I have been a long-time member of this community.
I have served with the local CFA, school council, community health centre and the Leongatha Cycling Club. I have worked with young cyclists for over 40 years to help them develop self-confidence and an appreciation of their abilities.
I have worked as an engineer, town planner and building designer for 45 years, including 10 years in local government. I believe these professional skills are beneficial for a councillor.
My past has included farming and as a small business operator employing over 30 people. I no longer feel constrained by vested interest questions associated with work and consider myself well-positioned to continue serving the community.
On civic matters, there is much to do as a council, with a satisfaction rating of just 35 per cent, which is below the state average. I note that this rating has not varied much whether it has been councillors or administrators in charge so it would appear efforts will need to concentrate on a change in the administration.
Council needs to establish better community engagement processes. These processes should facilitate giving communities all the data, resources, information and assistance for those communities to arrive at solutions they can own.
The council will need to be open, transparent and honest. Council should avoid closed meetings where possible. Openness and transparency should govern the operation of FOI applications. Council needs to manage these requests as per the intent of the Act and not allow council to hide behind process.
In this COVID-restricted world, council may need to adopt rapid antigen testing for all participants at council meetings to ensure it is safe for all to attend meetings. I would prefer open meetings and not online Zoom meetings, so would favour any measures that can give us local democracy again.
I bring a sympathetic and collegiate attitude to working with people. I worked on the petition to bring reduced rates and an improved hardship policy to council.
If the council had not been dismissed, the reduced rates may have eventuated under the previous council. Over the past five years I have presented to council at least 10 ideas and projects ranging from a new vision for Coal Creek, mountain bike trails and water supply to outlying areas to improve our shire.
Councillors need to have some knowledge and appreciation of how the system works and what they will need to do to make improvements. Goodwill and harmony are not enough.
Last election we had six new councillors out of nine and that was not a solution to better administration. We will need goodwill and unity but also a commitment to make desperately needed changes to the administration. Those changes can only be made by giving adequate and measurable direction to the CEO to ensure council goes forward in the chosen direction.
This shire has much to offer all who wish to live in such a great place. I am up for the challenge of including more community engagement to build a sustainable future. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
Lindsay Love, Leongatha.