COMMENT

Here's hoping for a wide range of Oberon Council candidates | Letter

IN a few months we as a community will engage in a very important event: the election of our new council.

This assumes, of course, that we have enough nominations to require a ballot.

Regardless of the nominees' policies or gender, they should be respected for having the courage to put their names forward as potential community leaders and offering their experience and time in community service.

When people talk to me about concerns they have with particular council-related issues, I suggest that they should stand for council and include the issue in their campaign policies.

If there are enough people who support these policies, then they will be elected and become part of the council decision-making process.

If they all did this, we would have a wide range of candidates from which to select our council members for the next term. Most, if not all, will not follow this advice.

Some do not think they have the necessary qualifications to be a councillor, which is disappointing and not correct as long as it understood that councillors are elected to represent the community and not themselves.

Firstly, the guidelines for the process of council business are laid out in the Local Government Act.

This is a simple document and, if applied within the philosophic context of asking yourself "what would a reasonable person do?", "have I asked the right questions?" and "could I defend this decision if challenged?", then you cannot go too far wrong.

Every councillor brings to the table varying levels of education and, most importantly, life experiences, which, when combined, become a very powerful force.

As an individual councillor, if you have an opinion contrary to others that you believe to be right, you need the courage not to bow to pressure and to only respond to a logical presentation of facts.

I used the term campaign policies previously in this article.

I believe that it is important that if you have any major changes you wish to see implemented, then you should put them out there prior to the election.

If you are elected, it cannot be claimed that you slipped it in undetected. Transparency needs to start at the commencement of the term of council and be applied until the end.

On the basis of transparency, I believe also that the community should have the right to ask questions for them to be able to ascertain the candidates' position on any item of concern.

This includes any existing councillor who is seeking re-election.

It should not be a critique of them or the existing council, but the opportunity to understand their attitude to the future.

In a short summary, I encourage all to stand.

Keith Sullivan