Three nominate for council

REGION - Three candidates will contest the Ararat Rural City postal by-election to be held on Saturday, February 15.

Glenda McLean, Bill Braithwaite and Frank Deutsch all declared their intentions by the time nominations closed midday Tuesday.

Mrs McLean, who will sit atop the ballot paper said friends and colleagues encouraged her to nominate because of her community spirit and independence.

"The key issues for ratepayers are getting a greater understanding of what services and infrastructure council should provide versus the level of rates paid by the communities," she said.

"It is also important for ratepayers and council to engage in continuing discussions regarding fair distribution of funding."

Mrs Mclean said as a councillor she would remain friendly, approachable and motivated working for the interests of the municipality at all times.

She has created a Facebook account where she hopes residents will take the time to contact her about any issues that need to be brought to council's attention, should she be successful at the by-election."

Mr Braithwaite said his 28 year career in local government, seven years of that spent as the Ararat Rural City Council's CEO, served as an indication that he has what it takes to represent the people.

"With this experience and the time I can make a contribution that is best suited to making a difference as a councillor," he said.

"This is an area I care about, I have chosen to retire to Ararat and this is an opportunity for me to give something back."

Mr Braithwaite believes sound financial management, transparency and economic development opportunities are imperative focuses for council.

"I am committed to local government being there to provide the community with the best it has to offer."

Lake Bolac's Frank Deutsch said his honest, hardworking and reliable nature are what make him suitable for the position.

"After the draw, we, the candidates decided not to allocate any preferences to each other, so first past the post is the winner," he said.

"We also agreed that we will conduct ourselves in an honourable and truthful way at all times, well all shook hands on our agreement.

"I trust that the other candidates will honour this agreement, as will I.

"I have chosen to nominate as I firmly believe that council has been off the rails for some time, the Ararat Rural City Council has in my opinion a large city mentality, as evidenced in their spending.

"Hopefully I can influence other councillors to curb the spending habits and look after the ratepayers of the Ararat Rural City first and foremost.

"In the words of Elvis Presley: It's now or never..."

Mr Deutsch said the issues he believes most concerning residents are increasing rates, council services that are not wanted or required and the need for more industry and employment.

The successful candidate will fill the position vacated by Ian Wilson in November last year and join six sitting councillors Gwenda Allgood, Ian Harris, Paul Hooper, Fay Hull, Gary Hull, Colin McKenzie on council.

Ararat Rural City is unsubdivided and includes the towns of Pomonal, Elmhurst, Moyston, Ararat, Warrak, Buangor, Maroona, Willaura, Mininera, Wickliffe, Lake Bolac, Westmere and Streatham.

Returning Officer Andy McCann said it was important people took note of their responsibilities when it comes to voting in the by-election.

"Not all members of the same family will receive their ballot papers on the same day. If they haven't received them within a week then I encourage them to contact the VEC office at the Visitor Information Centre," he said.

The mailout of ballot packs will begin on January 28 and continue through to January 30.

Residents have until 6pm Friday, February 14 to return the ballot packs with election day to follow.

Anyone requiring any further information can contact 0458 390 540.

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