Gladstone mayor Gail Sellers celebrates four years in the top job today.
Gladstone mayor Gail Sellers celebrates four years in the top job today. Tom Huntley

Mayor reflects on four years in top job

SHE has held a seat in the council for more than a quarter of a century, and Gladstone region Mayor Gail Sellers says she is not going anywhere.

Today she celebrates four years as mayor.

The mother and grandmother has seen several projects through. But, she says, there are more to come.

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And she's not holding back, already declaring her position going into the next election in March 2016.

"Of course (I will run for mayor again). I've still got this list of things to do and I need more time to do them," Cr Sellers said.

"When I finish all of those things, I'll give it away," she said.

The role has her working seven days a week, and that does come with its sacrifices.

"Probably down time (would be my biggest sacrifice)... and I don't have a lot of family time either (with husband Tony and children Kirsten, 32, and Todd, 30)," she said.

"Most weekends I'm working. It's not just being in the office but also being out in the community.

"I could have up to eight things to go to, and I love every minute of it."

Born and bred in Gladstone, Cr Sellers went to primary school at Gladstone South and secondary at Gladstone State High before moving to Brisbane for university.

She came home to become a teacher/ librarian at Gladstone West School.

In high school she considered going into politics, but never imagined she would be mayor.

"I loved my life and the community. All the time I was in Brisbane I knew I was coming home. I never wanted to live anywhere else," she said.

"We're such a fantastic community. Everyone is willing to do their bit. You only have to ask for something and it happens."

Five best moments as mayor:

1. The construction and opening of Kirkwood Rd in 2012 has been the absolute highlight.

It's used every day and it makes it so easy to get around the city.

If you're coming from the south or north it's just a great connector road.

2. The renovation of the Entertainment Centre in 2013. It's a really special place.

The centre has already been host to Birds of Tokyo, Circus Oz and Bell Shakespeare's Henry V.

3. Formation of the youth council. That's a big highlight for me and something I hope continues. They're kicking goals at the moment.

4. The financial stability and planning of the council with the 10-year financial plan. We have a really good financial plan.

5. Receiving a nationally recognised award for customer service this year. It was out of 500 different workplaces so that's pretty good.

Five worst moments as mayor:

1. When we didn't receive funding for the Phillip St community precinct. That was a couple of years ago now but I can still remember how hurt and disappointed I felt.

I knew we had a very good application and I didn't think we could miss out. That would be my lowest time.

2. The floods. I was just feeling for the community. It was horrible the fact that it was across our community and in the Boyne Valley and Baffle Creek areas and people lost their homes.

The only fortunate thing was there was no loss of life.

3. What's disappointing is the actions of people in the CBD. I'd like the alcohol-related behaviour like brawls, public urination to stop. We can do better than that.

4. Not having enough money to do what we could do. We're trying all the time. It's a bit of a catch 22 situation.

All we can do is chase the funding dollars from state and federal governments.

5. Losing Qantas' direct flights from Sydney to Gladstone. We do have Jetgo start on December 1, so it's been a little bit of a positive but it was very disappointing at the time.



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