Democracy has returned to the Cootamundra district with an elected council now in place to run Local Government.
Since Cootamundra and Gundagai were forcibly amalgamated, an administrator has made all decisions which were formally the domain of a panel of councillors.
Last Friday, the nine people who will lead Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council into a new era were announced.
Making the grade were Doug Phillips, Abb McAlister, Dennis Palmer, Craig Stewart, Charlie Sheahan, Gil Kelly, David Graham, Penny Nicholson and Leigh Bowden.
With the exception of Mr Graham from Adjungbilly, all are from either the townships of Cootamundra or Gundagai.
Stockinbingal resident Rosalie Dale is not concerned by the lack of village representatives on council, saying her hometown had a fair go under the administrator and she hopes this will continue under the new full council.
“We are cautiously optimistic about the future,” Ms Dale said.
“The team looks good,” she added, passing on her congratulations to all successful candidates.
Ms Dale said the interim council (staff and administrator from the date of proclamation combining Cootamundra and Gundagai Shires until the new council was appointed) was proactive in Stockinbingal, focusing on ongoing works such as keeping the entrances to the village tidy.
She said there are also roadworks planned across the village area.
With a new council on board, Ms Dale is hoping to work with them to restore the village’s Elwood Hall to the vibrant community hub it once was.
Sitting in the middle of the village, Ms Dale said the hall is still used for occasion meetings in the village, however it lacks appropriate heating and cooling to be used to its full potential.
"I’d love to see it used for family reunions and birthday parties,” Ms Dale said.
She in confident the village community can work with council in the future to achieve greater use out of this important village facility.
The importance of villages in the new Local Government Area were specifically mentioned by a number of the candidates who successfully secured a seat at the council table, further bolstering hopes of support from village residents.