Councillor weighs in on Gympie divisions debate
Letter to the Editor
Seems to be some confusion out there about the divisions and councillors and how it all works.
The arguments for and against voting in a divisional member vs voting in the nine (including Mayor) people from a regional pool aren't new and I don’t have the answer on which is better.
PROS. With divisional councillors: wherever you are you would hope you have someone voting who knows your area‘s needs, which can be especially important in a region with a land area of 6,897km2. With one pool of councillors for everyone to choose from: you would like to think you’d end up with the cream of the crop, meaning potentially better choices being made.
CONS. With divisional councillors: you might not have a great lot of choice at the election booth, plus they're only one vote of nine, so you still have to hope at least four of the others are aware of your needs or your councillor is a good talker. With one pool of councillors for everyone to choose from: with somewhere like Gympie Region you might find all of your elected officials are voted in by the bulk of the electorate - Gympie itself - and this might mean decisions are made for that one area to the detriment of the less populated, more outlying areas.
Right now, we have what we have: eight divisional councillors and a Mayor (also defined as a councillor) who are charged with making decisions for the entire region.
Yes, I am still the councillor for Division 4 - the group of residents who voted me into this position - but I make decisions for all 50,000+ residents.
I take calls and chat to people from all 8 divisions as well. I never turn anyone away because they aren't in my division.
As a resident, you should feel free to contact whichever councillor makes you feel more comfortable.
Hope that explanation helps.
Bruce Devereaux, Gympie Regional Council Division 4 Councillor
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