Julieanne Strachan August 12, 2012
MONEY and the way the council spends it is shaping up as the big item at the top of the agenda for voters in this year's Queanbeyan City Council mayoral election, where the incumbent Tim Overall will pit his credentials against four nominees in the race to the top job.
The continuation of beautification works to the city will be weighted against competing strategies including Queanbeyan Business Council president and independent candidate Jamie Cregan's proposition to corporatise the council.
The mayor of Queanbeyan will be popularly elected along with nine councillors, when voters go to the polls on Saturday, September 8.
The other choices for mayor include two sitting councillors, Ann Rocca and Sue Whelan, and Labor Party candidate Brian Brown.
Mr Brown is the deputy chair of Regional Development Australia (Southern Inland).
Business leader Mr Cregan is leading a pro-business ticket alongside a number of business and community leaders calling themselves ''Cregan Independents''.
Mr Cregan has said he wanted to corporatise many of the functions of council and use council labour to generate profits and relieve some of the burden on ratepayers.
''We're one of the only councils in the state without an economic development unit. I'd like to see the creation of one that reports directly to councillors,'' he told The Queanbeyan Age.
''We've got to start to think outside the old square and look at alternative ways we can make money, rather than just slugging ratepayers with rate rises,'' he said.
Cr Overall said the council had developed, with a lot of community input, a vision for the township from now to 2021, which included continuing beautification of the CBD.
He said experience was needed to implement the plan.
''I think you really need to have served at least one term on council before you put your hand up to be mayor,'' he said.