Let the top poller be mayor

IS it a woman? Do they have glasses? Facial hair? A hat?

With only four candidates showing their hand in the race for mayor, it wouldn't be hard to "guess who" would be the future leader of our region, should the line-up remain as it is.

If tradition - albeit new tradition - holds and Stanthorpe votes as a block, the Granite Belt-based Peter Blundell would romp home to victory, with the other three candidates splitting the northern vote.

And with him, he would bring a wealth of experience, having served on the former Stanthorpe Shire Council and as for the past four years as deputy mayor of the newly amalgamated Southern Downs Regional Council.

Others have commented with a green-tint in their eyes that in the last election campaign Blundell published one paid advertisement, yet his reputation and his smooth talking led him to comfortable election.

Feeling is strong the Stanthorpe-based Cr Mally McMurtrie will also take a tilt at the top job.

Though she's remaining tight-lipped at the moment, McMurtrie polled the highest in the last election but was overlooked in favour of Blundell for the 2IC job.

Her standing could fracture the southern vote.

Another big personality still has to put his cards on the table and with a media campaign which has run since I've been in the Southern Downs (over two years) it has to be just a matter of time before John Randall joins in.

He's worked hard developing his identity, he's heavily involved in the community, he knows the inner workings of council and claims he has no axe to grind since his dismissal and subsequent legal wrangle with the local authority.

However despite being spotted pounding the Stanthorpe pavements, he's a virtual unknown to the Granite Belt.

There have been murmurings some of the current serving councillors wouldn't be satisfied with the potential line-up, so there could be room for one, or a number, of them to make a play, which could gut the council out of all its experience.

Either which way, the system is flawed. I'm not sure who would make the best mayor but I do believe more than one of these guys have something to offer us.

All candidates should stand for council with the top polling candidate being elected mayor.

If, like me, you don't know who would make the best mayor, fear not.

On Wednesday, March 28, and Thursday, March 29, there will be "meet the candidate" forums held in Stanthorpe and Warwick respectively.

The Stanthorpe Border Post in conjunction with the Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce will host the first forum at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre on March 28.

While the Warwick Daily News in partnership with the Warwick Chamber of Commerce will host the second forum at the King's Theatre, Warwick RSL on March 29.

In the meantime, keep picking up the paper and checking our websites for election coverage.


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