IT HAS been a privilege to serve on the Toodyay Shire Council for the last four years.
Now seems like a good opportunity to share my reflections on that time.
When I was first on Council, I saw the administration providing agendas for meetings that had little or no input from councillors.
For example, annual budgets were initially provided to Council with no opportunity for members to provide strategic input.
With a change of Chief Executive Officer, Council became much more heavily involved in providing strategic direction to the administration when it came to such things as preparing annual budgets.
Similar improvements happened when it came to the development and review of policies.
Staff and councillors alike contributed their skills, knowledge and expertise to support Shire decision-making processes.
Workshops involving both staff and councillors were an essential component in providing better service to the community.
Some people are able to process prodigious quantities of detail, while others take a big picture approach.
It was the combining of all these different attributes that produced a formidable team.
There is also the matter of having a “can do” attitude and listening closely to people’s concerns.
It was for me always about finding ways to get answers and solutions for those people.
I felt it important that I kept people informed about what I was doing on their behalf.
I was always happy to answer anybody’s questions about why I voted in the ways that I did in meetings of Council.
I saw openness, honesty, transparency and accountability as being essential aspects of my performance as a councillor.
Being a councillor meant always learning about new things from subject experts, and considering the impact of that learning on the strategic decisions that I was charged with making.
There was also membership of Council committees and also those of external organisations, in my case the Toodyay Roadwise Committee.
Attendance at events such as the launch of the Gnulla Karnany Waangkiny Project was also part of the job.
I encountered a wide range of people.
At one extreme were the hyper-aggressive, dim-witted, ill-informed sociopaths.
At the other extreme were those who expressed heart-warming gratitude for my efforts on their behalf.
It has been an interesting, frustrating and rewarding four years for me.
I wish the new Council and all its members the very best with the rewards and challenges that lie ahead.