Helping hand in a big decision

SO, how will you decide who to vote for at the coming council election?With 35 names clogging up the ballot paper, there are bound to be some names you’ve never seen before.

And since very few of the candidates started campaigning before the close of nominations a fortnight ago, voters have just four weeks to learn as much as they can before making a decision.

Of course, many won’t bother – and that’s why the Western Advocate is again conducting a candidates survey in the lead-up to the election.

We’ve put a series of questions to all the councillors and will publish their responses in the days before the September 8 poll.

Such a small sample of questions can never provide a full insight into a candidate’s thinking, but we hope that asking them about specific areas of council policy will give voters something to work on. And then it’s up to you, and won’t the final results be interesting.

With such a large field of nominations – and with 50 per cent of the region’s voters needing to find a new first preference following the retirement of Paul Toole from council – it’s almost impossible to predict what the new council will look like.

Certainly, the three candidates heading the tickets on the ballot paper – Jess Jennings, Warren Aubin and Greg Westman – would appear to have an advantage over their rivals and would be hugely disappointed to miss out.

Incumbency could also work in favour of Bobby Bourke, Graeme Hanger, Monica Morse and Ian North who, in theory, only have to hold on to the majority of their votes from 2008 to get across the line again.

That may be easier said than done, though. Only time will tell.

Councillor hopefuls will be asked to answer a series of questions.

Councillor hopefuls will be asked to answer a series of questions.