Why we need to take Saturday’s Council election seriously

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The great myth of elections is that politicians only show their heads when it’s time for people to vote for them.

But the exact opposite is often true – most of us only notice politicians or follow the ins and outs of politics at election time.

You would only have to read the Weekender each week to know that our Councillors are regularly in the community – and constantly bringing up issues of concern.

There’s dozens of stories we don’t get to run too. You’d only have to attend a Monday night Council meeting to know how many bits and pieces get brought up or considered each week.

Some Councillors are more active than others, of course, but I’d argue in many cases a local Councillor is far more effective in the local community that a State or Federal MP.

I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve referred a local resident to a Councillor over an issue, only to have it resolved or at least clarified in pretty quick time.

All Councillors list their direct phone numbers on Council’s website. They are far from invisible.

Often, their role is purely advocacy to higher governments on issues of State or Federal significance. But sometimes one or two phone calls can make all the difference on a seemingly insignificant local issue that is of concern to a select few.

And while local Council is at times where some cut their teeth as they look to a future in politics, most aren’t in it to boost their careers and are actually community-focused.

Councils very rarely get everything right. Across the 200,000-odd residents in the Penrith Local Government Area, you’ve got almost as many opinions. But elected Councillors do ultimately have the best interests of the city at heart.

Take some time to read about the candidates and take Saturday’s election seriously. Penrith deserves the right people to have a seat at the table.

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