IF COUNCILLORS were chosen for their credentials alone, then Leon Thorpe would have been appointed to the job years ago.
Over the last 57 years, Dr Thorpe has sat on more committees than most of Griffith’s incumbent councillors. He also has more years experience in the local government game than some of them combined.
“I’m used to being busy,” he said.
“Even from the time I finished my school leaving certificate, I finished my final exam in the morning, had lunch and then went off to work. It felt good to be busy and always doing something.”
Dr Thorpe, who has an academic doctorate in letters, has sat on around 15 Griffith City Council committees over the years and is still on three today.
He is the only person to be elected the Griffith East Rotary president for three terms, and has been the deputy president of the Chamber of Commerce, reads for the Royal Blind Society and is the local convenor for the Don Mackay Churchill Fellowship and the rural and remote medical services program.
While it seems like he’s already got a lot on his plate, Dr Thorpe said he’s always wanted to help shape the city’s future and still had a lot to give.
“Griffith has been kind to me and if I can put something back into Griffith through being councillor or mayor then I would like very much to do that,” he said. “I realise I’m a dark horse for mayor but a lot of people have told me over the years they would vote for me if I ran for council.”
Despite all his interests, Dr Thorpe said he still believed in the original role of a local council.
“I think we should go back to basics – roads, rates, rubbish and water,” he said.
“We have to get those right then we can do other things.”
“We’ve also got to show some backbone when the state and federal government press local government to do extra things that are meant to be their responsibility.”
Dr Thorpe said Yenda was also high on his list of priorities and believed that council should make sure there would never be a repeat of March’s devastating flood.