Rates, roads and rubbish: Charles Thompson
We asked each candidates their views on the key roles of a council.
The answers have been published in the paper over the past few weeks, but below are Charles Thompson's un-edited answers.
What do you think about the current state of the following council issues/services;
This is a make or break item for this election, obviously!
I will be driving for a strong review and as a realist am skeptical that any Council in the near future will wind the rates back.
However, we need to commit to a freeze for rates, to assisting senior citizen's living in their own homes through a reduction to keep the local people here (those who built our community) and a Council commitment to overhaul financial decision-making for sustainable and economical responsibility and accountability!
I believe we need to take more care of the individual and small businesses, and ensure larger stakeholders are
Rates and spending are issues I will tackle simultaneously.
I believe we need to use the data from the past - identify the strengths and build on them, and pull apart the mistakes and learn and innovate change from them.
I will be one vote in the Council Chamber - but I will be heard.
On a personal level I am happy with my residential, in-town service.
I have spoken with some rural and surrounding region residents and I will be actively reviewing what services and dumping facilities are available in the outlying areas to ensure there are adequate services for these people.
I do believe we need to look at the system of what is happening at the transfer station.
We need to examine the costing of dumping different types of waste, the old-school services like an annual collection from the street, reducing our environmental impact and recycling.
Industrial waste is another factor I would like more information and data on to ensure the right people are paying for the quantities they are dumping (not supplemented by the rate-payer).
Additionally, I would be consulting with the current contractor to use their skills and knowledge to support proactive changes for our region.
Our residential roads, in my driving around, seem to be fit for purpose.
Without having access to the strategic plan the Council is currently operating from, it makes it difficult to make fair comment regarding their performance and the direction they are heading.
I come from a civil construction background and feel I have some constructive input when it comes to major project work, planning and monitoring performance against the scope of works.
Similar to the rubbish topic previously addressed, I feel that the roads in our rural and outer regions need to become a focus for future planning.
Additionally, I would take time to examine external contracts relating to roads (new and upgrades) and factors such as roadside maintenance.
Again I would be looking at the local content of the contracts and employment with the focus on 'local jobs for locals', and value for money for the rate payer.
I would be keen also to review the concept of "satellite depots" and casual employment in the wider region for such things as roadside maintenance. Finally, I would like to see more planning and consultation with the surrounding regions to coordinate works on the connecting roads.
Can you describe the role of a Councillor.
In its simplicity I see my role as working in the best interests of the Gladstone Region constituents.
This is done by
• Actively promoting and representing the region
• Examining issues thoroughly and asking the 'devil's advocate' question
• Looking for alternatives
• Planning with vision
• Studying all the policies and procedures
• Making sustainable, financially responsible decisions
• Communicating with the people I am representing
• Representing the WHOLE region (towns, farmers, industry, small and big business) equitably with objectivity
• Engaging youth and seniors
• Ethical use of position and resources • Correct and detailed administration of allocated portfolio