June 1, 2018 by admin
HARRINGTON resident Bob Smith BM will run for mayor of Greater Taree City Council as well as leading a group of candidates as an action team to contest the eight councillor positions at the September 8 local government election.
Joan Hall will be second in the group along with two other candidates, Debbie Douthie and David Levy.
The local government elections allow voters a chance to just vote 1 above the line in a group box or place the required numbers below the line for individual candidates of your choice.
Mr Smith is a 62 year-old retired multi-experienced builder who says he can commit the time and effort necessary to be part of a new team of new councillors having new ideas to get fair results for ratepayers, along with working towards having a successful council.
He is a dedicated recreational angler residing in “a neglected fishing paradise” who is proudly associated with as well as the founder of political party The Fishing Party (not Shooters and Fishers) that is registered with the NSW Electoral Commission.
He is also heavily involved as a committed Manning Valley ratepayer and private citizen with the Harrington Community Action Group which seeks a fair go for all ratepayers.
“Being that committed private citizen ensures that local government doesn’t need party political representatives or one-issue agendas but rather some good community commitment with honesty, transparency and integrity covering all within the boundaries of the Greater Taree City Council electorate,” Mr Smith said.
“A councillor who doesn’t show common sense or consult with the community is a dud,” he added.
“I’m not one to hide behind a fence and throw stones as I like to get involved in the immediate action.”
Bob has previously put his hand up though unsuccessfully in past federal, State and local elections with the aim of getting better and sensible decisions for the nation and the community.
“I support marriage as Adam and Eve, sustainable development along with fiscal responsibility and sensible environmental outcomes where “lock up” is for prisoners and wild harvests can be managed and sustained.
“Councils of today need to be strongly encouraged to engage State and Federal governments and their representatives for the rightful responsibilities as more pressure is being applied to local government associations and ratepayers to carry extra burdens.”
Mr Smith said group announcements and campaign issues will be released when ballot acceptance has been confirmed at noon August 8, which is close of nominations.
HARRINGTON resident Joan Hall will contest the Greater Taree City Council election in the No. 2 position for ‘The Action Team’, led by Robert (‘Bob’) Smith BM.
“I have put my hand up to run on The Action Team ticket along with Debbie Douthie and David Levy as I have been very concerned for some time about the lack of representation on council for residents of the outlying areas,” Ms Hall says.
“Apart from this I believe there is a lack of communication and transparency between council and the community, especially in the way community information is being reported.
“Also I believe council has forgone the importance of essential services which has led to the deterioration of roads, bridges and drainage over many years, especially in the outlying areas.”
Ms Hall has lived in Harrington for the past 33 years and in that time has been involved with community committees such as the council’s Advisory Liaison Committee for five years, (three years of which were spent as secretary) and Manning Valley Community Transport committee (of which she was also secretary for a time).
She has been involved in construction of the Harrington skate park, with Harrington Tidy Towns committee, the formation of the Harrington Volunteer Garden Club, and an active volunteer for Meals on Wheels for over 15 years.
“My main activity since 2004 has been with the Harrington Community Action Group of which I have been secretary since its inception.
“During this time the action group has worked very hard to try and improve facilities in Harrington and the surrounding area, alongside all levels of government.”
The action group has formed a committee comprising representatives of various groups and organisations within the area to discuss the construction of an aged care facility in Harrington which it believes is extremely important to Harrington and surrounding areas.
“My background is that I have always been a young and go-ahead person in the first half of my 70 years,” Ms Hall says.
Born and raised and having lived in Cronulla (‘The Shire’) for the first half of her life, she moved to Harrington in 1979.
During her working life she was involved in haute couture dressmaking, as a sewing instructress with Singer Sewing Machines, and had over 25 years in retail with leading companies such as Myer, Waltons and Winns, in mainly administrative positions. These included as staff training officer, then personal manager, administration manager and acting store manager.
She spent 13 years with Myer as a personal manager in various stores in Sydney. During that time she attended various courses and trained sales staff up to supervisor level.
In her early working days she completed a three year drafting and cutting course at St George Technical College. After moving to Harrington, she conducted her own business which carried out letterbox drops in the Harrington-Crowdy Head area, throughout the 1990s and early 2000.
“If elected to council I would endeavour to achieve the best possible outcome for the community by listening, being available, transparent and honest while being abreast of council issues and where possible attend all meetings where my role as a councillor is required.
“I will not make promises that cannot be fulfilled. I am an independent and oppose party politics in local government.
“Councillors are locked into government rules and regulations but one can still try and achieve changes to the current council systems,” she says.
DEBBIE Douthie has decided to join forces with Bob Smith, Joan Hall and David Levy, to contest the Greater Taree City Council election in September under the grouping ‘The Action Team’.
“I will be supporting Bob, Joan and David in their endeavours to revitalise the Manning Valley,” Debbie says.
“I have previously assisted the Lansdowne-Coopernook area in its quest for improved roads by running a petition to council, and am currently looking into the zoning of rates for those areas outside the city limits, that are currently classified under town rates, (an area in which I live).
Ms Douthie draws on broad life experiences as a grounding for her decision to offer herself as a councillor.
“My father was a police officer and I grew up around law enforcement. This allowed me to see many ongoing issues facing people in the community.
“For most of my life I have worked with horses, from riding track work in the wee hours to successfully showing and breeding. I am definitely an animal lover.
“Nursing became my career, which allowed me to work anywhere in Australia, following my husband’s career in the RAN.
“Through my profession I meet many people and become aware of the daily challenges they face.”
Debbie and her husband settled in the Manning in 1998 and decided to go into a small business several years ago.
“This is in a small village which has a unique way of life important to those who live there, surrounded by farming communities and National Parks.”
Apathy by many has encouraged her to venture into government, she says.
Among her plans for council are:
o To re-evaluate the focus back to the requirements that meet the needs of the community
o More community consultation – “an open door approach”
o To assess council’s internal budget, make savings within – “as we have all had to do”
o To consult with workers in the field
o To re-evaluate contractors, simplify and improve viability
o To look at ways to improve tourism in the beautiful Manning Valley, from the coast to the hinterland, which will have a flow-on effect for small business and employment
o Make state and federal governments more aware of our community’s needs and seek more funding
o Investigate the potential of the NBN and implement
o Continue the recent progress council has made on roads and bridges and push further.
A FORMER deputy mayor of Cootamundra Shire Council, David Levy, is seeking a seat on Greater Taree City Council at the September 8 election.
Mr Levy (pictured) has accepted an invitation from Harrington residents Bob Smith BM and Joan Hall, to be part of their four-person ‘Action Team’ ticket, along with Debbie Douthie.
“Soon after I arrived in the Manning area I met Joan Hall, a person passionate about the local community, and also Bob Smith. Both, I believe, would make excellent councillors if elected,” he says.
Aged 60, Mr Levy is married to Michelle and is the father of three sons and a daughter.
One of six children, he grew up on a coffee plantation in the Papua-New Guinea Highlands, which had been established by his parents.
He received his secondary education at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, before attending Sydney University.
He returned to Papua-New Guinea to work in plantation management before setting up business for himself.
He left there in 1983 and purchased a hotel in Cootamundra which was sold in 2006.
Since then, he and Michelle have been a self employed contract hotel management team, and for almost two years have managed the Coopernook Hotel. He holds a Diploma of Business Management.
Since moving to the Manning he has attended meetings of the Local Liquor Accord, Coopernook Action Group, and the Harrington Chamber of Commerce.
While living in Cootamundra Mr Levy contested the local government elections and was elected to the shire council. He re-contested in 2004, was re-elected, and that year was also elected deputy mayor.
During his terms on Cootamundra Shire Mr Levy chaired various committees, attended annual shires conferences in Sydney and participated in local government learning courses attaining certificates in Effective Chair, Community Leadership and Code of Conduct.
“I understand the mechanics of local government and the role of an effective councillor – that is, to represent the interests of the community, provide leadership and guidance and to facilitate communication between the community and council.”
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