Monday, October 17, 2011

Candidate comments continued

MAYORAL and deputy mayoral candidates made their comments in the second half of Saturday's forum at the New Norfolk District Football Clubrooms. Moderator Frank Pearce conducted a draw to determine the speaking order. Candidates for the position of deputy mayor were heard first, starting at 4pm.

Judy Bromfield, of New Norfolk, said he had proven her ability as a councillor and had achieved much behind the scenes as being a councillor involved more than one council meeting a month. Cr Bromfield said she had runs on the board and spoke of achievements including establishing the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival with former mayor Nick Cracknell; negotiating funding for the Maydena Streetscape; rebuilding the Black Jetty at New Norfolk; negotiating the construction of the Millbrook Rise boat ramp; and instigating public question time and public budget submissions at the Derwent Valley Council. Addressing the question put to other candidates earlier in the day, Cr Bromfield said she was a former member of the Liberal Party.

Barry Lathey, of New Norfolk, said he had never been so frustrated by a single issue as he had been by Willow Court. He had conducted many tours of the site in the last year and would like to see a start made on the redevelopment. He believed one of the top priorities was improving the power supply. A site caretaker was also needed. Cr Lathey said amalgamation had been mentioned and it was an issue that was of concern to him when he recalled the manner in which the State Government had taken the responsibility for water and sewerage away from councils, removing 50% of council revenue. Cr Lathey said he had attended the monthly meetings of the Child and Family Centre and he was looking forward to seeing the centre built on Ellis Dean Reserve. He described himself as being on a mission to have a public toilet installed near the Millbrook Rise boat ramp.

Wayne Shoobridge, of New Norfolk, said he had spent 18 months on the Derwent Valley Council in 2001-02 and he had managed multi-million dollar businesses but was now semi-retired. He saw a need to get things done for the future and a priority in this regard was enticing new businesses to the municipality. Mr Shoobridge spoke about the important role of the deputy mayor as a support and back-up to the mayor. If elected, he said he would be there to back-up the mayor whenever required.

Just after 4.30pm it was the turn of the mayoral candidates. The luck of the draw went to the incumbent.

Martyn Evans, of Magra, said he had probably jumped in too early when he first contested the mayoral position two years ago, describing himself as too young and green at the time. It had been a steep learning curve but he had enjoyed the challenge. His priorities were education, health and Willow Court. The mayoral role was about being a leader, but even the best leader needed a strong team. Cr Evans spoke of his previous leadership roles as sports captain, coach and mentor.

Tony Nicholson, of Lachlan, said the mayor's position was one of leadership of the community. In his previous years in local government he had much experience in leadership roles. He said the mayor was the spokesman for the community and must link the community and bring it together. Having had two years away from the council, Mr Nicholson said he had had time to reassess things. He regarded transparency as a vital part of a free and open society.

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