This was not a well run election for several reasons, involving lack of communication by the electoral commission as to an election being held combined with little opportunity for the public and candidates to gain enough information to lead to an informed vote.
Combined with a political campaign by Tony Allen’s group of eight misinforming the public on council’s finances and building purchases, this left people with the need to vote based on poor and misleading information. Another result is the entry of political parties into local government here with Greens, Country Labor and the general Liberal support for the group of eight including grudges on squash courts, a marina and an equestrian centre all of which are not within council’s present agenda.
A comment on public perception is that the lack of community knowledge of councillors and issues appears to confirm the public are not adequately or correctly informed in the media for a variety of reasons.
There is and has been a significant cost to everyone, including myself, in putting out misinformation bushfires.
I will be interested to hear some councillors take the new oath of office to "under take duties in the best interest of the shire and faithfully and impartially carry out functions etc under the act" and to see how they perform in the next four years given the way they campaigned by undermining what has been a council working in a difficult time.
It's a very fine line between a good functioning council and a dysfunctional council. It depends on the ability of councillors to absorb information and make rational and often difficult decisions without pursuing their own agendas. The last council achieved more than any other in recent times and I am proud to have led and been part of it.
Michael Britten, Merimbula
An outstanding candidate
Many people running for elected office say that they will listen to the community.
Hopefully the new councillors will honour that claim or position when they elect a new mayor. The community made it quite clear Tony Allen was the outstanding candidate. His overwhelming primary vote clearly implies that a great number of the voters were satisfied with his experience and his attention to the responsibilities of the role of councillor.
He also attracted more votes than other candidates in the last couple of elections.
The previous councillors overlooked listening to the community with the election of two mayors during its term. Interestingly, the electorate seems to have felt the same way with its rejection of the former mayors.
At the risk of stating the obvious, gender has nought to do with the matter. Let’s hope a decision based on fairness and honour will eventuate.
Pat Campbell, Tathra
A welcoming Valley
We recently hosted 25 Indian visitors in our region for three nights.
We would like to pay special tribute to the most impressive efforts of the local restaurants who accepted the mission of feeding 30-40 people with the requirement for the meals to be vegetarian and egg-free. Wheelers in Pambula, The Wharf Restaurant in Merimbula, Issi and Co in Bega, and The Sundeck Cafe at Bermagui, all excelled themselves with superb food and service.
Unreserved praise and delight were expressed by our visitors from the subcontinent, and abundant appreciation is hereby expressed by Wayne and I, and Bernie and Shanita Collins.
Apart from the food, and the visit to the Sapphire Coast Anglican College our guests enjoyed wonderful accommodation at the Merimbula Beach Resort Holiday Park and Bermagui Motor Inn, a visit to the Bega Heritage Centre, the Blue pool at Bemagui and farm visits/homecooked meals in Candelo and Yowrie.
The Bega Valley and its people have done themselves very proud!
Helen Schaefer, Yowrie