I would like to take this opportunity to put to rest the issue of "will I be standing again" for Griffith City Council in the 2021 elections to be held in September this year.
The answer is officially no but thank you.
I have always felt privileged to be elected and would like to thank the team from Grow Griffith, particularly Doug Curran and Mike Neville who originally asked me to stand.
Being a councillor is an honour and a privileged and it requires a lot of research and understanding of the legislation and meeting code of practice.
You just don't get the opportunity to speak up on issues as much as people would think, particularly during debate at meetings.
This is an area I believe all councillors should be better trained in and for the next council the newly appointed councillors educational needs are now going to be a focus of the council general manager.
While I have tried my best to represent the community appropriately and fairly, I do not wish to continue and really hope people consider who they vote for this year.
I believe that the current mayor has functioned effectively in the role however I wrongly assumed that the position would operate in a more cooperative manner.
I expected this experience would help me professionally but I don't think it has. I was warned by an old school friend that local government is the hardest of politics but I didn't think it could be at times so toxic and not really that cohesive.
I actually believe that people should work with all members and groups within the community and with those other elected officials, local, state and federal for the betterment of our community.
Working proactively wherever possible with the people whom have been democratically elected by the same community that elected us onto council.
I haven't always agreed with fellow councillor's decisions in council but the majority have always been happy to work with me after a vote against something in chamber.
With all the city's improvements about to be completed the time is ideal for change.
Please think of the future of Griffith and let's respect the past and thank them for their service. By thinking of the community, we should aim to elect a good mix of members from our community.
If you cannot read between the lines for my recommendation of who I believe you should vote for to be the next mayor of this great city, I personally would recommend Doug Curran for the position.
I did not know him well when I signed onto his ticket five years ago but he said put your hand up and if your elected you need to vote in chambers whichever way you believe and let's work together on all issues and not just those we agree on.
His grasp of the workings within council and community are strong and he listens to reason and I believe he doesn't hold a grudge against people who might think opposite to him, which is a great character when leading a vibrant and diverse city such as Griffith.
I would like to encourage those of you in the community with an agenda for change put you hand up for council or join a council committee or community organisation to grind your axe. Get out from behind your keyboards and fake names and be yourself if you want the respect and represent the interests of this community.
If any potential candidates or members of the community wish to discuss my final decision, please do not hesitate to call me on 0438 388 828 (outside of business hours please). However, I won't be making further public comments in relation to this matter for legal reasons.
Thank you for the opportunity it was enlightening, at times frustrating but I will now stand aside for the next cohort of councillors.
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