Cootamundra Herald letters to the editor, July 26, 2017

FORMER REPRESENTATIVES: All but one of the above former Cootamundra Shire councillors will vie for a seat on the amalgamated council. Picture: Contributed

FORMER REPRESENTATIVES: All but one of the above former Cootamundra Shire councillors will vie for a seat on the amalgamated council. Picture: Contributed

Council calling

Dear residents of the Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council,

I will be standing as a candidate for council in the upcoming local government election and I am  humbly asking for your support. 

I have given this a lot of serious thought and feel I have to offer the residents and ratepayers this new council, fair and honest representation. 

This state government’s policy of forced merged councils has failed, it has failed everywhere, it has failed to deliver any real reform, and has failed the people and ratepayers of NSW. 

It has cost millions of dollars, much of it wasted. It has caused great stress, anger and division within our communities, and between communities.

This government created this mess by failing to communicate, to listen, to question, in effect denying us of democracy. 

September council elections can't come quick enough for this government to wash its hands of the whole situation.

This leaves a difficult task for the elected council to deal with. 

The elected council will have to exercise compassion, understanding and patience, to find the common ground in an effort to steer our towns and communities through this difficult situation  while we await a satisfactory resolution.

It will be nothing like "business as usual” for the incoming council.

It will be challenging and difficult, but if you feel you are up to the challenge and have something to  offer, then I encourage you to nominate. 

l, and I think the majority of our community across Gundagai, Cootamundra, and the villages, am looking forward to seeing new faces young and old, offering voters a new choice, a fresh approach.

Charlie Sheahan

Cootamundra

Election vitally important

On September 9, voters in Cootamundra-Gundagai will be asked to go to the polls to elect new councils. Every newspaper edition provides concrete evidence that it is local issues which have the most impact on our day-to-day lives, and which help build strong, healthy communities.

That’s why I’m issuing this call for potential candidates of every age, gender and political allegiance to consider standing for council when nominations open on July 31.

Our sector has moved a long way beyond the hackneyed old ‘roads, rates and rubbish’. Local government employs 50,000 staff across the state, and has an annual spend of $10 billion. That means modern councillors are not only representing their communities but working together within a board-like structure to help govern multi-million dollar operations. That’s why we need top-quality councillors from a wide variety of backgrounds, who are able to not only serve as the voice of their communities but operate at the strategic level.

I’m writing today to urge anyone interested in contributing to the strength and growth of this state to consider standing for election when 46 councils go to the polls on September 9. Nominations open to prospective candidates on July 31 and close on August 9, so there is no time to waste.

Local government is one of the most direct, logical and practical paths to help improve the quality of life in any community – and we need men and women who are up to the job ahead.

I invite you to contact your local council to find out what’s involved; many are actually running pre-election briefings for potential candidates in conjunction with the sector’s peak body Local Government NSW, of which I am an elected director.

The best possible candidates means the best possible representation – and that means the real winners will be the people of the local community, and of NSW as a whole.

Clr Denise Osborne

Director, Local Government NSW

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