Defeated councillor wants to finish community projects


FORMER Cerberus ward councillor David Garnock blames not residing in the ward and “anti-shire rhetoric” for his defeat in the October municipal elections.

Mr Garnock, elected in 2012, was one of five candidates for Cerberus.

The seat on Mornington Peninsula Shire Council was won by Kate Roper who had 54 per cent of votes after preferences; Mr Garnock had 24 per cent and David Cassels came third with more than 16 per cent.

In an email sent after his loss to 125 “movers & shakers”, Mr Garnock said he was disappointed he would be unable to “finish-off quite a few things that I’ve already started” while representing Cerberus ward.

“… It seems that the majority of my constituents were convinced by Kate Roper (your new councillor) that they’d be better-off with a representative who lives in their ward”, Mr Garnock, who lives in Mt Eliza, stated.

“This of course overlooks the fact that I spent nearly every waking moment in and around the ward, never shirked my responsibilities as this community’s representative in council and actually achieved quite a lot in my first term.

“Nevertheless, this tactic and a liberal dose of anti-shire rhetoric played nicely into the parochialism and scepticism that unfortunately still exists in our wider community.”

Mr Garnock hoped the “enthusiasm [shown by Cr Roper in her election campaign] translates into a full-time commitment to represent the needs of this community, irrespective of her political affiliations”.

He asked that Cr Roper be given “a chance to settle-in and ultimately prove herself as the hard-working, team-building, responsive, insightful, problem-solving and inspirational leader that this community deserves”.

Mr Garnock said he hoped she would help him “continue to pursue a few important projects that I believe will benefit the Cerberus ward…”

“As I do not want to make a big deal of my departure (I’d rather just slip into the background quietly), I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the future and to sincerely thank you for all your support and inspiration to me over the past four years.”

Mr Garnock was only one of four councillors elected in 2012 not to be re-elected.

Six of the shire’s 10 incumbent councillors did not seek re-election.

Across Victoria, 49.3 per cent of council seats were filled by incumbent councillors, while 32.6 per cent of contesting councillors were defeated.

First published in the Western Port News – 15 November 2016


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