Prime Minister Bites the Dust. This won’t happen to your Mayor.

We watched today helplessly as yet another Prime Minister bites the dust. The fourth to get the flick by their colleagues.

As this unfolded over the last few days I could not help but ponder the comparisons between Federal, State and Local Government. More particularly I pondered the status of Prime Ministers and Premiers, as compared with Mayors.

Prime Minister bites the dustIn recent years, after the long reign of John Howard as Prime Minister, we have seen Kevin Rudd elected by the people. We then saw Julia Gillard, followed again by Kevin Rudd elevated to the top spot not by you but by their colleagues in the Labor party.

With an angry electorate we then saw Tony Abbott get the people’s vote only then to see Malcolm Turnbull followed by Scott Morrison get the top job courtesy of “their” Liberal colleagues. You have to wonder how the electorate will view this mob next time they get their chance to have a say?

Just in case you don’t know, it won’t be long before we will be asked to vote in the Local Government elections. Given today’s news we might also be voting soon in the Federal election having done likewise in the State elections earlier this year. Maybe even at the same time.

And as the Prime Minister bites the dust here is my ponderance that prompted this blog post.

Unlike in Federal and State elections you will be asked to vote separately for your local ward members and your Mayor. In local government elections you get to vote for your local representative just as you do in the Federal and State elections. Of course, you get to choose two, not one. That is a storey in its own right.

That said, unlike in the Federal and State equivalents, you also get to vote separately for your Mayor. And when you do the winner of your vote gets the nod. In the other two forms of government the party that wins the most seats in the lower house elects the leader, be it Prime Minister or Premier. Not you.

And once you have, that person will be your Mayor until you get another say. That is unless they resign as Mayor Clyne did earlier this year or have health issues that prevent staying in the top job. The Mayor’s colleagues do not have a say. Only you.

The other side of the coin however is anyone who does not win the Mayoral contest does not get to sit on Council. The losers of the race for Prime Minister and Premier do. And they do because you don’t get a say.

Yet, with such power in Local Government elections it is strange that only one in three able to cast a vote will.

As they say (and the Prime Minister bites the dust) that’s politics.

Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government

Congratulations to Jayne Stinson on being elected as the member for Badcoe and to David Pisoni on being returned in the seat of Unley. I look forward to working with you both to better our local community.

Councillor, Clarence Park Ward. City of Unley.

Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government. Yes! Council elections are scheduled for November this year.

It is my intention to put my hand up again. I will be looking to continue as one of your two Clarence Park Ward Councillors.

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Why Councillor? Why not Mayor?

Many people have asked me in recent times to run for Mayor, which is certainly flattering. I believe however my true value to council and to its ratepayers is to focus on being a Ward Councillor.

The elections will see a significant turnover of elected members. Two members, one being the Mayor, have already resigned. Two other councillors have announced that they will not be renominating. A fifth is considering his future.

Five of 13 positions on Council will therefore see a change of member.

Two, maybe three, of our current membership are considering running for Mayor. Given anyone losing the Mayoral race will not be on Council this means a turnover of 7 out of the 13 positions. If I were to run for mayor too the change will lift to 8, 9 if an outsider won the Mayoral race.

Change is usually healthy. It is good to see change after each council election. New ideas, new perspective, new energy etc. If the extent of change is excessive however this can be unsettling.

This is because the learning curve when stepping into the elected member role is extreme. New members therefore need time to settle in.

Running for Mayor, with so many others considering it, would increase this risk.

Kate Bickford is representing SA Best in the fight for Badcoe.

Representing SA Best, Kate Bickford is the last candidate to be named in the Fight for Badcoe. This just before the Government goes into caretaker mode and the core flutes get erected.

Kate Bickford, SA Best candidate for Badcoe

As I have done with the other three candidates I sat down with Kate Bickford for a coffee and a chat. This I did on behalf of the ratepayers of Council’s Clarence Park Ward, and the neighbouring Goodwood Ward.

I found her to be quite a genuine person with strong links to the local community. She has lived around 20 years in Forestville.

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Kate is a lawyer and has worked on behalf of our indigenous Australians and for small and big business. This has seen her interact at all levels with Government.

What kate Bickford stands for.

I gleaned from her a concern many of you know I share about the future of South Road. What will be the redesigned South Road through Black Forest when the Government finally gets around to our section of the non-stop carriage way.

She is also keen to ensure balanced improvement to planning laws. Again, something that readers of this website know I share.

Kate indicated also that she is keen to see more work done in the ageing arena, including providing ways of bringing the aged and the young together. Sounds like she would really like the City of Unley Active Ageing project.

Another passion she has, which a number of you have indicated to me is a concern. That is to bring back safety gates to the pedestrian accesses and to improved DDA compliant ramps at the many rail stations we have in the City of Unley. Something my wife and I put to the liberals some time back.

This completes my initial interactions with all the candidates. If you wish to remember my initial observations of the other three you can check at here for Jayne Stinson (Labor), Lachlan Clyne (Liberal) and John Woodward (Independent).

You can contact Kate Bickford via email at [email protected] or call her on 0434 673 794 and arrange to meet with her to discuss any issue that concerns you in Badcoe. To view Kate’s electorate page, click here.

Devastating blow across the bow in the fight for Badcoe

A win for the Labor Candidate for Badcoe, Jayne Stinson. Armed with a 900 plus signature petition, she has successfully lobbied her party to back her campaign to upgrade the Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

Goodwood Oval Grandstand

The State Government’s announcement today of providing funding to Council for improvements to the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex is, I suggest, profound. For the Liberals, this is surely a devastating blow across the bow in the fight for Badcoe.

The Liberals and their candidate (our Mayor), Lachlan Clyne have had the rug pulled out from under them. This the Government has done, by promising the funds now. Yes! To be paid now, prior to the election. A commitment that cannot be undone after the election. A commitment I find hard to see the Liberals matching.

This is welcome news to the City of Unley’s western community. That is subject to any conditions we are unaware of. Readers of this blog would be aware of the work Council has done on master planning of this precinct. You would also be aware of my efforts to ensure the best possible result for our community.

Jayne Stinson, entertained by Goodwood Saints President Craig Scott.

Looking back, I am happy that I took an early and ongoing leadership role in promoting (through the upcoming State election) the project as one warranting State Government grant funding. After introducing the project to Jayne Stinson as soon as she gained preselection back in March, I took the opportunity to introduce her to the Presidents of the Sporting Clubs. Their subsequent conversations have reinforced Council’s views of the needs. And then some.

In the meantime, we have been hard at work on our Master Plan.

We invited and received comment from our community some two years ago. Protracted discussions with all the precinct’s sporting clubs followed.

We are close to having a near shovel ready project. Good timing it would seem.

Watch this space for further information including Council’s response once we receive the official conformation and detail of the Grant.

Jayne Stinson engages with our local community in the Battle for Badcoe.

Hot on the heels of my blog recently on a 3rd candidate in the battle for Badcoe, endorsed Labor candidate Jayne Stinson engages with our local community in the Battle for Badcoe.

She held two public meetings yesterday. The first was held at Dora Guild Playground; the second at Page Park. I attended both.

Of interest was the presence of the President’s or immediate past presidents of three of our local premier sporting organisations.

Jayne was entertained by President Craig at the Goody Saints v University match

Goodwood Saints Football Club and Goodwood Cricket Club promoted their joint pursuit of female participation in their respective sports. Both clubs are leaders in their competitions and are active in female participation. Later Jayne spent the afternoon as guest of the Footy Club watching the “A” grade beat and pass University in the top five.

They are both keen to see renovations to the Grandstand. Renovations that are long overdue. Renovations that have become urgent given female participation in both Football and Cricket. They lobbied for grant funding for Council’s proposed upgrades.

Millswood Bowling Club and, by way of a phone call to me to promote their needs, Millswood Croquet Club promoted their respective grant funding needs. The Bowling Club is in urgent need for upgraded female toilet facilities and likewise a need for disabled facilities. The Croquet Club in need of new premises.

All four have embraced the principles of Council’s Active Unley strategy. This has resulted in the needs promoted.

Their lobbying backs up my lobbying with Jayne earlier this year.

Other issues included looking at safety of the pedestrian rail crossings at the Clarence Park Rail Station. The introduction of quieter and faster trains while removing gates has created a more dangerous environment than ever before noting this is a Station that has previously seen a death of a young child.

In the meantime, I am looking to catch up with the 3rd candidate later this week, Cr John Woodward.

A Third Player Has Emerged in the Fight for Badcoe

A third Player has emerged in the fight for Badcoe. A week ago now, Cr John Woodward announced his intention to stand.

A Councillor for the City of West Torrens Keswick Ward, John announced his intention to run via Facebook and Twitter a week ago.

His candidature should add some spice to the campaign. He will be running as an independent against the endorsed candidates for the two major parties. As you will know from two of my previous posts in the Fight for Badcoe they are as follows. Jayne Stinson for Labor and City of Unley’s own Mayor Lachlan Clyne for the Liberals.

John adds another dimension to a seat I have previously identified as a possible litmus test for the formation of the next Government.

Like the two other candidates he will come as no stranger  to a portion of the Badcoe electorate. That said I am unaware of ever having met him. Having had a number of conversations with both Lachlan and Jayne I will make a point of catching up John.

 What I have ascertained about John comes from his Facebook Page and Website. He is seeking a more collaborative approach to solving problems, NOT the adversarial, bickering, nasty personal attacks that we see from our two major parties.

For more information about John check out John’s election website.

There is yet no announcement from the Greens or from NXT regarding endorsing any candidate. With John’s announcement the other two candidates are out and about.

Lachlan has been pounding the streets in those sections of the Seat of Badcoe where is is not as well know. Jayne, on the other hand is holding two community meetings in little ol’ Clarence Park tomorrow morning.

They will be as follows:

9 am thru’ 9.45 at Dora Guild Playground

10 am thru’ 10.45 at Page Park.

 

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising but the Start line is a long way away

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising even though the Start line is a long way away. The news yesterday that Jayne Stinson has resigned her role with Channel 7 & 5AA keeps the new Seat of Badcoe in the news headlines.

Steph Key’s retirement (refer my last blog) has opened the door for Jayne to have a dip at the new seat of Badcoe.

Jayne would be well known to most residents of Badcoe, which covers the Council Ward of Clarence Park (and Goodwood). She is seen regularly on Channel 7 News and heard on 5AA as a political journalist.

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising with her nomination.

She is a high profile candidate who has put her hand up for Labor. She has to win preselection of course. There remains a chance that Annabel Digance from the nearby seat of Elders could secure preselection.

So while we wait for news as to whether our Mayor, Lachlan Clyne wins preselection for the Liberals Jayne’s candidature provides some early spice in the race which is yet to start. Subject then to both Jayne and Lachlan winning preselection the good people of Badcoe have two high profile personalities fighting it out over the next 12 months and a bit.

With set terms the next election will be held on Saturday March 17.

And all this before the Supreme Court hears the Labor Challenge to the boundary redistribution.

I understand that nomination for Liberal Preselection ends at the end of this month. Have not heard when Labor’s ends.

yes! The temperature in badco is Rising.

 

Steph Key Retires as the Battle for Badcoe Emerges

Steph Key retires is the news of the day. This week has been a big news week for the State Seat of Badcoe (to be) or Ashford (as it is until the election).

 

First the news of the Liberals announcement on GlobeLink. And now the news that Steph Key retires at the next election.

This will come as a shock to many who reside in the old seat of Ashford. Steph was much loved by many and she carried a significant personal vote on election day.

I have enjoyed working with her. Always ready with a big hug.

But times change and the fight for the new seat of Badcoe should be enthralling.

Most of you woudl be aware that Council’s Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, has put his hat in the ring for preselection as the Liberal candidate. We should hear soon I believe (maybe the end of this month) whether or not he has been successful.

With Steph’s departure the Labour Party must now go through a preselection process to find their next candidate to represent them in this seat. I wait now with baited breath who they may choose. I look forward also to meeting with their candidate so that I can ascertain what they may offer the local community in the future.

There are many things that I look forward to putting to both candidates whoever they may be.

Well Done Steph on your career and all the best as you take on your next life challenge.

 

Libs strike the first blow in the Seat of Badcoe

On my first official day as Deputy Mayor of the City of Unley I witnessed the Leader of the Opposition, Steven Marshall, strike the first blow in the Seat of Badcoe.

The man wanting to be Premier announced what he calls a generational upgrade to South Australia’s rail and road network. The plan is called GlobeLink.

It is an ambitious plan, touted to be of major economic benefit to the State of South Australia. It is a plan that from a purely selfish point of view will have a huge benefit to me and my neighbourhood.

Badcoe is the State seat that our Mayor Lachlan Clyne is hoping to get Liberal pre-selection for. Given this, he asked me to represent Council as we have vested interest in the announcement.

For the Seat of Badcoe this means the freight trains would no longer run through the suburbs of Millswood, Kings Park, Goodwood, Forestville & Wayvlle. A bonus for the residents of the western side of the City of Unley

No longer would residents have to live in fear of a derailment. No longer will they have to be concerned about breathing in carcinogenic diesel fumes. No longer will they have to put up with excessive noise at all hours of the day. No more long waits in traffic at Cross road, Victoria Street and Leader Street.

It also impacts in what may happen at the Emerson Crossing when current Government plans to run the B-Doubles down Cross Road and turn right into South Australia’s major traffic corridor happens. It will reduce what I see as major demolition of houses and business premises along Cross Road at Clarence Park and South Road at Black Forest.

Residents in Unley’s western suburbs which form part of the Seat of Badcoe stand to benefit from the fight for this seat. I can’t wait now for what Labor may have to offer.

Happy New Year in 2017 Everyone

Council’s offices are open but with only a skeleton staff at this stage. I expect a number of your elected members are taking a well deserved break during this traditional time of reflection. I trust you have taken a similar opportunity between Christmas and New Years.

 

While wishing you a happy new year in 2017 I caught two of the western ward councillors enjoying their company today and good on them. Follows up from a blog last month by one of them. Seems they are quite cosy.So what were Councillor Jennie Boisvert of Clarence Park Ward and Councillor Bob Schnell of Goodwood Ward doing?

Contrary to common belief there were not in Holiday mode.  They were actually on the job, meeting with myself and Bob’s Co-Councillor Luke Smolucha.

And they (we) were meeting at my local coffee drop in for a coffee, bite to eat and a chat. That is Carnevale on East Avenue. You know, the one with the new face painting on their north wall.

We felt it might be worth your while us discussing what initiatives we might consider worthy of placing before the candidates for the newly formed state seat of Badcoe (formerly Ashford) in the lead up to the next State Election.

The next State Election is but 14 and a bit months away.

We await news of who will run for the two major parties at least will we see incumbent Steph Key continue for yet another term. Will Unley’s Mayor (as widely publicised) contest the seat. Who else might put their hand up.

While we await this Jennie, Bob, Luke & I believe we should stand ready to lobby for the best possible deal we can get from whoever the next Government will be. So today we discussed some possible initiatives we could lobby for.

How about you. You could help us to make it a Happy New Year in 2017 by letting us know what you might like to have us lobby for. Indeed why not consider joining us in our lobbying efforts.