Election hopefuls put their case

Sixteen into nine won’t go so there will be seven disappointed candidates when the results of Saturday’s council elections are known.

The 16 come from most corners of Cooma-Monaro shire - from Nimmitabel to Michelago, squeezing in Jerangle in between - and they are promoting themselves as hard as they can.

At least, some of them there. Some have the gift of the gab and the ability to self-promote with ease. For others, it is painfully obvious they struggle in the art of communication, and perhaps have a limited range of policies to put forward.

In Cooma last week 10 of the 16 turned up to a “meet the candidates” session at the invitation of the Chamber of Commerce. So far as is known, two sent apologies for their absence because of the winter “lurgy”. The other four - well, they were no-shows, apparently without an apology.

So the 10 were given about three minutes each to state their case, and then submitted to probing questions.

A few spoke from prepared notes. A few spoke off the cuff. Some lost their flow midstream. Others only barely made the three minutes. Others could have gone all night.

Most want more business in the town, plus increased tourism (how do we capture those dreaded tourists and get them to stop?). A few (but not many) candidates spoke about the social needs of the shire (not social as in let’s-have-a-party, but social as in providing support and services). One had commonsense, another invoked George Bush’s “vision thing.” Yet another managed to bring cricket into the council election debate and then moved onto assets and infrastructure.

One warned about climate change and the “dire straits” about to befall us.

Many of the candidates were newcomers, at least in terms of a public profile, and the session helped some voters with identification.

But whether they select the right candidates for the job - well, only time will tell.

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