Residents of the Eurobodalla wasted no time in giving the mayoral candidates assembled for a public meeting on Friday a good grilling.
As soon as the floor was open to questions, issues were raised from fluoride in the water, rate rises, understanding local government legislation, Forests and Landcare policies and whether candidates believed they had enough experience for the job.
Fergus Thomson and Rob Pollock addressed the issue of fluoridation, saying they would not revisit the issue if elected to council.
“(The decision) was a very real response to provide the best possible fluoride outcomes,” Mr Thomson said.
Nick Summers opposed it saying that better dental education in the shire was required, while Chris Kowal said he was open to new information on the issue.
When asked if the newly elected mayor would support rate increases above rate pegging, Mark Flack replied that the outgoing council had overseen an obscene waste of money.
“No need to still throw around money like a drunken sailor like it has been for years,” Mr Flack said.
“Hopefully I believe somewhere in the future we could put a direct rebate to aged rates.”
Ray Brown said that with better management council should be able to reduce rates.
“I don’t believe rates need to be increased, the way they are increased. But until you’re in council and you really know what it’s all about, it is a little bit difficult to come up with figures you can substantiate.”
Graham Scobie announced that if elected he would ride his bike to work and refuse a council vehicle, except when on council business.
Lindsay Brown said he would listen to the community and not be influenced by vested interests.
Mr Pollock said he was once young and enthusiastic, and remained enthusiastic, while Alan Morton detailed his youth and career achievements with the police force.
Mr Flack explained his commitment to open and transparent local government and promised to abolish the sporting field levy if elected.
Ray Brown said he would not use the position to build a political career, but rather a better Eurobodalla Shire.
Mr Thomson agreed by listing services to be improved with a focus on honesty and integrity in council.
Mr Smith made it clear that commonsense was essential to have and he aimed to create a united council.
Chris Kowal wished to unite the community by making the council chamber rightfully the community’s again under a climate of change. Mr Summers made it clear that he had no business interest in the shire, and that his interests were the wellbeing of the community and nature.