While I was away I had almost no information regarding the election result apart from Karen SMSing me the details as people reached the quota.
I had a courtesy call from Marianne Saliba on Sunday morning asking how I was and had I seen any results. She told me that she had won a seat and that I had, at that stage, .3 of a quota which, in her opinion, was not going to reach the mark.
So it is with some disapointment and also some relief that I have come home to being a citizen but not a councillor.
For those that haven’t heard the news it looks like this – in order of the count –
Marianne Saliba – Labor
John Murray – Labor
Kellie Marsh – Liberal
David Boyle – a member of the Labor Party but not an endorsed candidate (truth be told it was a second shadow Labor ticket)
Paul Rankin – Liberal
Peter Moran – Independent – Peter is a member of the Greens but stood as an independent as he believes there is no place for party politics in local government
Helen Stewart – Independent (Helen was part of the previous council that was sacked for being dysfunctional)
So there is the Magnificent Seven
Where did I come in the race? Of the 52 candidates (1 pulled out prior to the election) I* was sixth from the tail end on primary votes. At the final count I had moved up from 46th place to 10th place, being carried by preferences. If it had been the Dirty Dozen I would have got in!
Personally, it does come with some disappointment. I threw my hat in the ring with a genuine desire to serve my community as a councillor. I knew it would come at some cost and I believed it to be worthwhile. I gave it my best, if not a little naive, shot.
There was also some disappointment in the lack of support I received in the poll from my little corner of the world; Warilla, Lake South and Mt Warrigal. Perhaps I am not as well known (or as popular) as I thought I was. Thanks to all those in the north-east corner of the city who did vote for me (and support me in other ways). Thanks also to those from the rest of the city who got behind us.
I am also somewhat relieved. Not having a seat on council means that I can get back to my already full life. My commitment is this; I am not just going to go back to the same-old, same-old. There is still work to be done in the community from both my position as pastor and as a community member and I want to get on with the job. While the learning curve of becoming a councillor is no longer in front of me I want to get on a different learning curve of finding better and more effective ways of loving and serving people around me and encouraging and equipping others to do that too. (Expressions of interest are welcome at this point!)
Summing up; I stood primarily in order to provide and alternative to the previous council. I gave it my best shot. I held to my values. I will still serve the city but not in the capacity of councillor. I want to lift my game in future service.
I run under the banner of ‘What we can do together is greater than what we can do on our own‘ and I still hold to that. I still need help of others to do what I want to do and I believe that others also need my help. So, let’s get on with it. There is much to do.
* When I say I it is actually we. I was part of a team of four with three wonderful friends joining my in trying to get me across the line. I am indebted to David Cholson, Joanna Combe and Keith Robinson for their willingness to add their names to the ticket believing that I was the sort of person that the community needed and wanted to represent them on our city council.
Beyond the team is my wife Karen. She has encouraged and supported my above and beyond anyone else. She has willingly and generously shared her energy, her thought and her finances into giving this a shot. Without her I would not have even tried.