Election fatigue is setting in for all of us and it is almost over...  We have done our best to get as much info as possible on all the candidates putting their hand up yelling “Pick Me” on the 28th of April, but we are missing some, so if you know the missing candidates, please give them a nudge and tell them to send their info in to us.  

Obviously there are always a number of high profile candidates that get a lot of media attention, BUT, just because someone has a high profile, does not necessarily make them the best person for the job, though does show they know how to get media attention?   You would have ‘heard’ of the 'Chk chk boom' girl or ‘Party Boy’ Corey, but you sure as hell are not going to put a tick against their name on a ballot paper?

Same with ‘experience’, that has been bandied around a lot too.  Well, we actually have a handsomely paid CEO at Council that is supposed to have the experience to make sure that Council Services and the staff in charge of them do their jobs, so working previously in Council is not really the biggest issue and does not necessarily make you best for the job.  As anyone who has had to handle the big job in a sporting organisation or community group knows, the skills to get everyone working together for a common goal, listening to all views, mediating, caring, is a very hard skill to define, YET, when found, is invaluable.

That is what we need in our council, ‘listeners’, people who will ensure that Council moves & works in the best direction of the community.  Candidates who want to listen to us (not bully us), and ensure that we continue to receive the services we need, (hint – not everything should be a ‘profit centre’ – like our invaluable libraries & the services they give the community).  

Candidates should also be impartial.  There are a lot of interest groups here on the Coast, most do a very good job of lobbying Council to ensure that their particular interest is not forgotten.   What is actually forgotten sometimes is the average ‘joe’ who is too busy working away in a depressed economy trying to make sure they can pay for the kids next school excursion?  So I urge candidates to actually get out there and also talk to ‘real’ people in the community, as they are the vast majority and you are supposed to be their voice and reflect their needs & attitudes (even if they are different to yours).

My last piece of advice to fellow coasters is to make sure we don’t have any BULLIES in Council.  Council is supposed to be more of a co-operative, not a dictatorship.  Particularly when it comes to Mayor, who is the most public face on the Sunshine Coast, make sure you elect a Mayor that actually reflects our community and WANTS to help build our community, not someone who is using Local Government as a stepping stone to higher political office as their primary aim.  Council should be grass roots and community focussed with people who want to work for the best for the community.  Leave the ‘spin’ and ‘PR manipulation’ to the big boys and their political parties in State & Federal Government.

So while you are sitting back munching away on your Easter Eggs, relaxing on the public holidays, read for yourselves what candidates stand for (hell, toss them an email & ask a few questions or attend a ‘meet the candidates’ forum) as Council really does set the ‘tone’ for our backyard, so please make your vote count!

Have a great Easter and DON’T feel guilty about those Easter Eggs, life is for living, once a year will not hurt you :)


Original Issue #139: "No Big Heads or Bullies need apply!" The MSC Editors Desk 03 April 2012

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