1. TO ACT WITH INTEGRITY: To be ethical, honest and law-abiding. I will seek to meet all the mandatory requirements presented to me, along with the high expectations of the residents who I will have the privilege to serve. I cannot be corrupted or inappropriately influenced. And wherever I identify the possibility of corruption or inappropriate influence, I will blow the whistle.
2. TO BE ACCOUNTABLE: To be transparent in my decision-making and to disclose all that I should. To justify my decisions to residents.
3. TO PUT COMMUNITY FIRST*: My city is more than buildings. It is people, communities, businesses and the natural environment. As such, I will consider the physical, social, economic and environmental aspects of my municipality. The community’s interests will be foremost in my decision making, ahead of my own interests and those of any political party or group to which I belong or with which I am affiliated. I will make special consideration for the vulnerable in our midst.
4. TO CONSULT: The best decisions are informed decisions. I commit to making myself available to those groups and individuals with a relevant view. I will listen. I will take their views into account.
5. TO BE AN AMBASSADOR: I acknowledge my city has been shamed by the actions of the previous council. I will seek to restore confidence in the council decision-making process. I will act respectfully and with dignity within the chamber, among council staff and in the community. I will be a leader fit for our great city and seek to promote my city and its interests.
AND IF I FAIL SUBSTANTIALLY IN THIS PLEDGE, I will graciously stand down and give someone else who can uphold these values the opportunity instead.
SIGNED, before the people of Shellharbour City – August 2011
This pledge was put to all council candidates in Shellharbour and Wollongong by the editor of the Illawarra Mercury.
Note * As a Christian I put Jesus first in all things. It is Jesus who inspires me and teaches me to put the community first. The love of God, my first priority, leads to the love of neighbour. In fact one can not truly be done without the other; I cannot say I love God and then not love my neighbour. As to the pledge my commitment to Jesus leads me to the spirit and intent of this paragraph of the pledge.