On my experience after just one term in Office being a Councillor is a fantastic role and I have enjoyed it. The chance to serve your community and the level of satisfaction from knowing you have made a positive difference in the lives of your neighbours can not be put into words.
If you too want to make a positive difference to your neighbourhood then give running for councils some thought.
Come along to a workshop provided by the Local Government Association on Saturday 16th August starting at 9.30 am. In just over 3 1/2 hours it may give you some insight into what being a Councillor is all about.
Make no mistake however it is no romp in the park.
Being on Council IS NOT attending one meeting per month for a couple of hours. It realistically is a part time job. I have found (which I never expected) that I am putting in something like 20 hours per week to fulfill what I believe my obligations are. And you don’t close the door at the end of the day, go home and forget about it until you clock on next morning either. It is with you 24/7.
Given the allowance for elected members of Unley , recently set by the remuneration tribunal, will be $ 15,900 you would not want to be doing it for the money. With my commitment of around 1,000 hours during the year that equates to just $ 15,90 per hour.
You have to be available to attend not just monthly council meetings but be on a number of committees that feed into the Council and attend workshops where you get the opportunity to learn about the depth of some of the issues to come before you at a council meeting.
You have to be available too, to help residents and rate payers who have problems dealing with Council staff, or have problems with neighbours etc.
I have been a member or a number of committees during my time on Council including the Development Assessment Panel (which does attract extra payment), City Strategy (until it was abandoned), the Community Awards Committee, both the Goodwood & Unley Oval advisory groups (and now the newly formed Goodwood Oval Reference Group), the Building Review Committee, Community Assets review, Unley Citizen of the Year Committee (2013), the Historic Unley committee, the Development Strategy and Policy Committee, and the Unley Business & Economic Development Committee.
Goodwood South Councillors, under our partnership agreement with the Clarence Park Community Centre, are also automatic members of the Community Centre Board of Management.
It is a full on job, not well paid, but a satisfying one. I certainly will be putting my name up again.