Good working relationships between councillors and council staff is important not only for morale but also for good governance, says one of the state’s most experienced councillors.
NSW Shires Association vice-president Bruce Miller will address a forum for potential local government election candidates in Tweed Shire.
The long-serving Cowra elected member and former Shires Association president is guest speaker at an information session being held in Murwillumbah on Wednesday 11 July to offer insight to the roles, responsibilities and opportunities for councillors.
It will complement a forum being held in Ballina on Monday 9 July by the NSW Electoral Commission, to outline the rules and responsibilities for election candidates.
Cr Miller said like most people, he went into local government with clear goals about what he wanted to achieve but quickly discovered the role and opportunities to initiate change were very different from what he expected.
‘You soon understand that your level of influence on specific issues and your discretionary spending can be very limited by other factors. In reality, it’s more about developing effective policy and helping to shape the future of our community, by addressing the bigger picture,’ he said.
‘You are looking at all aspects of community life – community and cultural infrastructure – and making sure you are on a sound financial footing.
‘This is what’s kept me motivated throughout my 21 years in local government.’
Cr Miller will also address the characteristics that make a good councillor.
‘It’s not just important to have a good understanding of the rules council must comply with; the most effective councillors I’ve worked with have also had an excellent relationship with council staff,’ he said.
‘It’s a team effort and everyone has to have the same objectives.’
The free information session will be held in the Council chambers, at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre, from 6.30pm.
For more details about the forums and other election information, visit Council’s website at http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/CouncilStructure/CouncilElection.aspx.