Our Yass Valley candidates have defended their decision to run on a group ticket.
Member Kim Turner, 70, had a stint on council two decades ago and said he was running on the group ticket because he wanted to see council tackle more issues.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the fact that a lot of the issues that were issues 21 years ago are still issues and haven’t been dealt with,” he said. Running on a group ticket was the best way to maximise his chances of getting into council, and once there, there was no point in being a lone voice.
“I think the bulk of the community have similar views. I wouldn’t be representing the community if I didn’t think I was expressing their views,” he said.
He said everyone likes to think they’d get in on their own right but he wasn’t being naïve about that. People have run for council for years on preference voting and the group was just running with five, rather than two, preferences.
Anti-wind farm campaigner Mike Inkster, 38, had been considering running for council for about 12 months when Cr Frost instigated the idea to run as a group.
“Council is a numbers game, if you are just one person up against a number of others, it’s hard to get ideas up,” he said.
Although they wouldn’t always agree on every issue, an independent group of like-minded councillors would promote transparency and efficiency, he said.
Public servant Nathan Reynolds-Furry*, 19, is confident that banding together as a group increases council’s potential to “make a difference” in the community.
He decided to run as part of Our Yass Valley when Cr Frost suggested it in light of their similar views about concerns in the valley.
“We think it’s a situation where people who hold the same sort of values and vision for the Yass Valley can actually band together and potentially make a difference,” he said.
It would promote far more momentum and organisation within council. He has no plans to nominate for mayor, but would ultimately choose “the best person for the job”.
Cr Frost had displayed qualities of leadership, he added.
“We’ve got a situation where there is a lot of negativity surrounding the present council, mainly within the business community, and the communication has been lost as well.”
Local health lobbyist Jasmin Jones, 38, said running as a group offered the chance to “get things done and present a stronger leadership”.
“Times have changed from when council was just about rates and rubbish… it’s time we brought Yass Valley Council into this century.
“We’ve got people on council now who are frustrated they are not achieving what they hoped to under the current leadership. We want to move forward and bring more professional skills to the team.”
She would back Cr Frost as mayor, should he nominate.
“If he ends up as mayor he’ll make an excellent leader. I’d like to see him as mayor, not to take anything away from Nic [Carmody], but it’s time to change the baton.
“This council seems really exhausted and there’s a lot of ‘we can’t do that’ … we want to tighten things up economically.”
Cr Geoff Frost declined to comment.
*Nathan is one of the Tribune’s Young Viewpoint contributors.