Cheese, veges, bread, fish & me

It’s a bit drizzly out, but the Woodend Farmer’s Market is on, and I’ll be down there, near the corner of Forest and High St.s from 9 until 1-ish, to answer questions and talk with you about the future of the Shire, and where you think it should be headed, and other important things, like whose olive oil is the best, and whether Redbeard have run out of nice buns yet. Look for the purple poster with my face on it, I’ll be somewhere nearby.

‘Meet the Candidates’ Kyneton, 27/9, 7.30pm

Eric Dearicott of Kyneton Connections has arranged a ‘Meet your West Ward Candidates’ session on Tuesday night, in the Supper Room at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute: 81 Mollison Street Kyneton, directly adjacent to the High St. T-junction.
See below (message in inverted commas is a direct copy from Eric’s invitation)
All West Ward candidates have been invited to speak for 4 minutes each.
He is happy for anyone who is interested to come along.

“On Tuesday night Kyneton Connections will be hosting a Public Forum where the candidates for our West Ward will outline their reasons and goals in seeking election as a councillor for our ward and respond to questions from those present.

The forum will be held in the supper room of the Kyneton Mechanics Institute and will commence at 7.30 pm.

Hope that you are able to attend.”

Sign on the dotted line . . .

My official nomination is now in for West Ward. Slight scare when the 2012 nomination list was posted before the website was fixed. A mix of old and new for all wards. Thanks everyone for your support so far.
See you around on the campaign trail.
Let me know if you would like a poster or flyers to distribute.

It’s just got real

Last night was the Candidate’s information Session at the VEC Electoral Office for the Shire, which is in the Kyneton Mechanic’s Institute on Mollison St. Kate Daniel is our Shire Returning Officer this time, as she has been for the last several elections.

(One thing we learnt, which I did not know, was that in the case of a mislaid/lost/destroyed ballot pack, an elector (voter) can go to the Electoral office and complete another ballot before the 21st of October. Keep this in mind if something goes catastrophically wrong with your ballot).

A dozen prospective candidates were there, from all the 3 wards, to find out about the timeline leading up to the elections, including candidate requirements, when we have to nominate, how the voting takes place, and how the results are decided. (My campaign manager was the only person there representing a sitting councillor, and relayed this to me at a distance. I’m in Romania until tomorrow). It is essentially the same as four years ago, when it was all new to me, so this time should be less nerve-wracking and uncertain, at least as far as the procedure goes. The result is always in the hands of the Fates, and you, the voters.

So far, it appears that there are 5 people (including me) standing for three positions on Council in West Ward, but I’m sure others will put themselves forward before nominations close, which is noon on Tuesday the 20th of October.

You may receive a campaign pamphlet in the mail or inside the Woodend Star from me from now until October the 4th, when ballot packs go out: it essentially contains the same information as you can find on this website, but put it on your fridge door or noticeboard anyway, it may jog a visitor or family member’s memory!

Are you able to vote? Are you sure?

A reminder: electoral rolls close this Friday the 26th of August for the Council elections, so use the VEC website to check if you are eligible to vote. You must submit your postal vote before October 21st if you are eligible. Ballot packs will start arriving at your nominated address from October the 4th, so you have two and a half weeks to make up your mind which three councillors you would like to represent you for the next 4 years. When nominations of preferences are announced on 23rd of September, you’ll find mine here. Although I can say right now that I think that Luke Spielvogel for West Ward is a fine fellow 🙂

2016: same as 2012?

Well, after a bit of reflection, and asking around for people’s opinions, I have decided to stand for election once more in the upcoming elections. I now have a better idea about what is involved in work as a Councillor, and am going into it with more open eyes than I did last time. Would I have done it four years ago if I had known what was involved? That’s a hard question to answer, as it’s not a light workload if you do the work required to do the job well. However, it’s a worthwhile thing to work hard at, and has direct benefits in making where we live better than it might be were it just up to administrators and disinterested bureaucrats and politicians who are distant from local issues and concerns. I’ve been privileged to meet many interesting and public-spirited people intent on helping others to live well in their local area, and have been happy to aid and assist them in any way that I can in my time as a Councillor. I hope that I can continue to do this if you vote me in once more.

Preferences on the Ballot Paper

With the elections, not only does your first candidate supporting vote count, but so too do your preferences.

Most councillors are not elected outright, but get enough votes made up from both a primary vote, but also if you put them second or third. However, enough primary votes, a ‘quota’, will see a candidate elected.

You do not have to vote as per a candidate’s “How to vote card”, but are free to choose the order of the candidates you think would be best to be elected.

If you put a candidate last in your preferences, then they will receive no run on votes from other candidates, and are much less likely to be voted in.

Candidates will have their own reasons for choosing who they prefer to give their votes to, which may include supporting other female candidates, holding the same values, or feeling that the other person is a strong candidate, who if elected on votes before them will then be able to pass their excess votes on.

Preferences do count, so it is up to you to question your candidates about the reasons behind their preferences. Voting as per their preferences may not result in the candidates you want to be elected being elected.

This election, the Victorian Parliament have decided not to allow a list of candidate’s preferences to be distributed with the Ballot Pack, so you will have to see how the candidates recommend that you vote in their election material. Due to printing timelines and other factors, I will be indicating the preferences I am giving the other candidates on this website, and on my Facebook page only, not on any printed material you may receive from me.

Walking High Street, Woodend

This afternoon I wandered along High Street, Woodend,  and spoke to some of the local shop owners, many of whom are also local residents.

I was unable to visit all shops and businesses, as I quickly ran out of time.

I think it is important for our businesses to know who their council candidates are, as they are the people in government who will be able to help most readily with their efforts to run a successful enterprise, which serves the local and visitor alike.

I feel it is important that they know they can contact their local representative about anything, and that they will be listened to respectfully, and responded to honestly and promptly.

I think I am a bit old fashioned this way, but I do enjoy shopping locally, supporting my local businesses – because they have really good products and happy people selling them – and knowing that I have to factor in extra time for my shopping, to have a bit of a chat.

Some shops and businesses have my brochures or posters, so they can help you if you want to know more about what I stand for, and how I can help you address your concerns with local issues.

Some people even said they would tell people about me on their Facebook pages.

I would like to thank all the people who took time to talk with me today, and hope that I will be able to meet with more of you soon.

Walking and Cycling Around West Ward

Over the last few days, along with printing off some flyers and posters, I have been walking and cycling around some of our towns and villages in West Ward.

I have been lucky enough to have 2 fine days of weather, and the company of friends.

Malmsbury had many friendly dogs and cats greeting me, along with the friendly people I met.

Kyneton’s daffodils were being replaced by tulips and other beautiful flowers, and the people I met were supportive of my decision to stand for council, regardless of whether they were particularly interested in knowing more or not.

What I loved, which re-enforced the reason why I have chosen to stand for council, was the diversity in the housing, the open spaces, the sense of pride in the people I spoke to about where we live, and a common theme of the need to protect our environment and heritage.

People spoke about things they would like to see changed, and I felt it was a real privilege that they felt they could talk to me about them.

I would like to thank all the people who took the time to talk to me, and also those of you who are helping me with the letter box drops.

If someone gets more than one leaflet, I apologise, as there may be some overlap with the different people delivering them, and also if you missed out.