IT appears as though we will have wards no one can get their heads around for another eight years.
Are there many readers who can tell us straight off the topof their head which ward they are in, and which two councillors represent them?
Councillors are legitimately concerned about the representation of people in the more far-flung parts of our shire. Some of them are quite a long way from the town of Tenterfield and there is some worry that an undivided shire will become even more centred on Rouse Street.
This is, however, a concern for most shires, nearly all of which take in surrounding villages.
Our councillors have decided to keep the complicated wiggly lines that divide up the shire and this will have a few implications.
One is that residents won’t get a say in whether the wards go or stay.
Another consequence is that we could continue to have the situation where councillors are elected without a single vote. In wards where only two people put their hands up, they are elected unopposed without the need for anyone to go to the polls.
That’s a dangerous situation.
Another result is that the mayor continues to have the casting vote where we have an evenly divided council. Current mayor Toby Smith has openly expressed his discomfort with that situation.
In keeping our councillors at 10, we also have lost the opportunity to offer fewer people a higher financial incentive.
As the local government election approaches, it is time to make a balanced assessment of where the shire is going, and encourage as many worthy people as possible to throw their hats into the ring.
Our councillors should be representative of all groups within our shire, but should also be reasonable people capable of making a decision for the good of Tenterfield.
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