AN INCUMBENT councillor has warned the lack of choice in Saturday's election will lead to a substandard council littered with dead wood.
Only 16 candidates will contest the minor positions on council this year, a far cry from the 23 who nominated in 2008 and 24 in 2004.
Councillor Doug Curran, who will contest his second term this weekend, said some sectors of the community would miss out on good representation under the new council, regardless of who was elected.
"There are only three candidates under the age of 50 and two of them are 49 and 47," Cr Curran said.
"Only four people are going to miss out so, of those who do get in, I believe we're going to have a percentage who aren't going to be doing a good job for the community.
"We'll have six to eight good councillors and four to six that will sit around and not provide any value."
Age has been a recurring issue throughout the election campaign, with many candidates saying they would like to see younger generations represented in the next term.
The average age of candidates is 58 and more than one third are over 65.
The youngest hopeful at 38, Cr Curran said the community's negativity toward councillors had deterred young residents from putting their hands up.
"Councillors deserve scrutiny, but when it becomes personal and sustained it brings a bad wrap to being a councillor," Cr Curran said.
"It is such a big commitment and people, particularly those under 40 who are often quite busy, question why they would put that sort of time and effort in if all the community is going to do is tear them down."
Two of the three councillors who have chosen not to stand for re-election - Cr Peter Taylor and Peter Fussell - have already denounced the criticism poured on the city's representatives over the past four years.
The third, deputy mayor Domenic Testoni, agreed fear of negativity had been a major factor in limiting nominations.
“I was surprised and disappointed that only 16 people had put their hands up,” Cr Testoni said.
“Some people can’t see past the negativity to see the good they can do for the community.
“What new candidates offer is fresh ideas and new faces, which gives us a good opportunity every four years to make a change if we want to.”