Now, some of you may be wondering, ‘What do councillors actually do?’ So I contacted a few of them and received a variety of answers. One even bribed me with beer to remain anonymous, so I said, “No worries Clyde, I’ll call you Mr. X., and make it a schooner please.”
Anyway, here’s what our newly elected Councillors’ can look forward to:
You’ll start each morning with ‘The Councillors Prayer’, “Please God, let someone call me today with good news.” Turning on your mobile phone you’ll see fourteen new messages; none of them contain good news.
Reading the Letters to the Editor during breakfast, you’ll wonder why these geniuses, with all the answers to Gladstone’s problems, didn’t stand for election.
As a councillor, you’ll be given a council department to oversee, eg: Parks, Roads, Airport etc. Being lumbered with the sewerage portfolio could mean you’ve really upset the Mayor.
Congratulations! You’ve also automatically become a member of every club, community and special interest group in the region. Each week you’ll drive round an area roughly the size of Tasmania, attending meetings, AGM’s, working bees, judging things, cutting ribbons, making speeches and eating sandwiches. And you’d better like sandwiches, because everywhere you go, someone is going to cram fistfuls of them down your throat.
You will also gather the views of your constituents, ie: people who ring at all hours of the day and night, or bail you up in the street, shops, pub, beach or your driveway, and abuse you for things you have no control over. Armed with this ‘feedback’, you’ll meet with the Mayor, and various council folk, to discuss possible solutions, and make plans for our regions’ future. At these meetings you will be served sandwiches.
Late at night you’ll return home, brush the egg and lettuce crumbs from your jacket, turn off your phone and hit the sack wondering why God made you want to serve your community.
Folks, we should take an interest in those crazy enough to do this job, because as shareholders in the multi-million dollar enterprise known as ‘The Gladstone Region’, we’re going to be paying their wages for the next four years; fortunately the sandwiches are free!