Residents will have high expectations that the next generation of councillors and mayors have the experience, enthusiasm and ethics needed to move forward.
The major political parties are represented, along with a few smaller ones, and refreshingly, there is a wide choice of non-political independent candidates.
There is little doubt that the people of Wollongong and Shellharbour would be extremely cynical, not to say suspicious, about returning political animals to run local councils.
That’s not to say that a candidate representing a political party is a bad vote – indeed, single-issue candidates can be too narrow-minded to look beyond their own backyard.
Both cities are crying out for strong, fair-minded and progressive leadership to guide our region into the future. We need to reinstate the reputations of Wollongong and Shellharbour and in doing so attract appropriate development and the jobs they provide.
The next few weeks will hopefully indicate who are the best candidates to do just that.