The upcoming local elections are just around the corner and ratepayers thinking of standing for council have until next Wednesday, August 8, to nominate.
Current Mayor of Narromine, Cr Bill McAnally is hoping anyone interested in standing has the time and patience to read the paperwork that councillors receive and will be able to work with sometimes conflicting personalities.
“Not withstanding that, it is a rewarding job that probably most of the time as a councillor you do not get the recognition that you may think that you deserve,” he said.
Cr McAnally said councillors are at times “easy targets” so having a thick skin helps but generally life on council has more positives than negatives.
“I hope that anyone that nominates and gets on council can focus on the challenges ahead rather than the personalities that encompass working in a council environment,” Cr McAnally said.
“It is extremely important that council works as a team for the betterment of our wonderful Shire.
“Council is not perfect in the way things are done but hopefully we can in the future, remove some of the red and green tape that ties council up and hinders progression - some of the government legislation which we as councillors have had to endure is baffling and over the top for smaller councils.”
Cr McAnally has been a councillor for over eight years, deputy mayor for three and mayor for the last two years and will be standing for re-election this year.
“The greatest challenge over my time on council has been the last two years as mayor,” he said.
“We have in our shire suffered through a long and persistent drought, as most areas of Australia have, followed by magnificent rains that not only brought confidence back into our farming sector but also our retail and housing sectors.
“While the rains were good they also brought with them different problems - flooding, wet harvests and crop downgrading.
“Our community is a resilient lot and hopefully we can crack the big sooner rather than later.”
It comes as no surprise that, akin to many other councils, not all councillors in the Narromine Shire get along, and Cr McAnally said this is something he has had to accept.
“As a council I think that we have dropped the ball a bit with differing personalities probably taking the focus off the real issues in our communities and it saddens me the amount of time taken up by myself and the general manager (GM) dealing with Code Of Conducts,” Cr McAnally said. “It is every councillor’s right to use the Code of Conduct but sometimes we must look at what effect that has on the people and the cost to the community.”
Cr McAnally said he would like to thank the public for the support he has received through his time as mayor.
“I would also like to thank the staff and our employees for the great work that they do - we only ever hear of the things that aren’t sometimes done well. We have in the years that I have been on council, had too much turnover in our senior staff all of which does not help with having a stable and progressive council,” he said.
“I must also say that I have achieved a good working relationship with our GM Greg Lamont, through some very tough times. His outlook is positive and progressive and in my opinion has the respect of the staff.
“I would also like especially to thank the councillors that have supported me as mayor as without that support it would be impossible to achieve anything.
“I must also thank my workmates for their support as it certainly wouldn’t work without that, and to my lovely wife Julie thank you - what more can I say?”
An exciting future lies ahead for the Narromine Shire with plenty of activity on the cards, including the Alkane Tomingley Gold Project which has just been approved.
Council nomination forms are available from the Returning Officer or the NSW Electoral Commission website: www.votensw.info
“If you are thinking of standing for council, I hope that whoever you are or wherever you are from, that you are willing to have a positive approach to working together, not just on council but for a better community,” Cr McAnally said.