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the Breeze

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When the polls were first announced for the recent March 16 Local Government election, it was not long before  a ‘them and us’ situation quickly developed.

Unusually, a group was announced and formed, unlike in any other election at Local Government level, surrounding new Mayor Jos Mitchell.

The possibility of a more uniform and workable council was put on the back-burners due to this surprise ‘group’ mentality.

It is known, but not generally realistic, that all candidates in Local Government divisional elections, are by definition ‘independent’.

In reality, very few of them are.

But to make such a clear ‘declaration’ puts up a barrier that is hard to undo.

If it doesn’t come together as it was originally planned, then there is a difficult road ahead.

And that certainly is the case for the declared, and weakened ‘group’ in the Redland City Council elections.

Only a handful of the nominated group got elected, and two of them didn’t have to get elected at all because they had no opposition candidates in their divisions.

So, the outcome is that we have a well meaning new Mayor (who may have just been ungenerously ‘persuaded’ to be leader of the group) now left out on a considerable limb.

It was thought that a ‘them and us’ situation would prevail, and certainly that was the case just after the election was concluded. 

“The ‘them’s’ were particularly annoyed that the ‘us’ campaign told a few imaginative embellishments in their campaign statements. There were also some instances of candidate ‘interaction’ that got more than ‘friendly’, or so we are told.

The ‘them’s’ were definitely annoyed and certainly prickly.

Mayor Mitchell had an opportunity to ‘reach out’ in the election for the Deputy Mayoral position that saw former Deputy Mayor Julie Talty elected convincingly.

With the writing on the wall, you would have thought our new Mayor could have ‘read the room’ and also voted for the incumbent Talty, by way of a ‘peace offering’.

Also, having Julie Talty as a deputy provides a certain and necessary amount of experience and longevity.

Not so it seems, with Mayor Jos’ vote going to either of the other candidates Paul Bishop or the well meaning Tracy Huges. Neither looked like having a chance.

Clearly with the numbers, the ‘them’s’ are in a position of strength and could make things particularly uncomfortable for some of the new faces around the council table, including our new erstwhile Mayor.

Time, however, allows another ingredient to be added to the mix.

What if we give our new Mayor a ‘fair go’ and see just what she is all about?

This could have been the case, but now we are not quite so sure!



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