Fredman speaks: ‘New blood will lift council’
Letter to the editor by Cr Bob Fredman:
WE ARE at a point in time which is significant in the story of Gympie Regional Council.
Yesterday’s departure of CEO Bernard Smith, with the recent defeat of former mayor Mick Curran, marks the end of an era.
I have watched council politics closely over the years, from both the outside and more recently from the inside.
My observation is that both men have been “in the trenches together” since their partnership started.
That the voters have spoken to Mr Curran with such a loud voice means it was fitting that Mr Smith should now seek alternative pastures.
It has been my observation that, to their credit, both men ruled from the heart. They really did have the best intentions for Gympie Region in mind, but they did it their way.
Their way didn’t please the majority of voters, and suffice to say we are now starting with a clean slate.
We have a broad board of mostly new people with differing skills, and that brings a great opportunity for change.
I know many good council staff have found the past few years difficult, but I hope everyone now lifts to the occasion.
We have appointed an interim CEO who I believe is well suited to the task. People will note it is a woman, someone who lives in Gympie, and someone with internal experience here and from other councils.
We are in a challenging situation now, with COVID-19 still in the air and a new budget due. There are also some “legacy” issues that we have to confront.
I look forward to working with Cr Hartwig, councillors, CEO, staff and ratepayers in making the future a solid one for us all.
Cr Bob Fredman, Division 8, Gympie Regional Council
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