ATTENTION mayoral candidates: There’s an easy way to guarantee this correspondent’s vote.
(1) Restore the mayor’s Christmas drinks with the media, and
(2) Bar gopher drivers from our roads.
True, we’re only one vote. However, if the election’s tight, then our one vote might just be the one that counts.
This correspondent goes back a few years. We can remember when having a drink at council’s expense with the city’s commander-in-chief was an important part of yuletide festivities.
In those days council didn’t mind opening the bar for all manner of turnouts.
Sportstar of the year functions were always a good excuse for a sip. Former mayor, the Hon John Hackney’s last official function with council was presenting the sportstar of the year award. We celebrated in style that night at council and then a few other places as well.
And it was custom that every Christmas assorted media hacks would head down to council where the mayor would shout. We didn’t mind sharing the occasion with our colleagues in the other forms of media. Actually meeting the ‘journos’ who read our stories on the radio and telly was always a pleasure.
The only slight problem we had was that our fellow journalists at this paper all live out of town – swanky places like Harrington Waters, Cundletown Heights, Forster, Cedar Party and Dead Dog Gully. We don’t know where the lass who is currently on maternity leave resides although we’re pretty sure it’s some upmarket part of the city. In fact, she’s been gone that long we can’t even remember her name, but that’s beside the point.
Our colleagues, responsible as they are, could usually only stay for one or two drinks before driving home, so this correspondent had to pick up the slack and have their share for them, given that Struggle Street’s just a short stroll from council headquarters. Cometh the hour cometh the man and all that, for we usually got the job done, although that short stroll to council sometimes became an difficult stumble home.
But these days council seems to have slammed the bar door shut. No wonder Cr Eddie Loftus isn’t standing again.
So, the first mayoral candidate who declares Christmas drinks are back on the table will go along way to assuring our support.
We might even hand out how to vote information on poll day, although we probably won’t.
Which of course, leads us to gopher drivers and our thoroughfares. As if dodging potholes isn’t bad enough, we also have to make sure we don’t bowl gopher drivers over as well.
They’re a nuisance – driving, as they have a habit of doing, in the middle of the road, usually at dusk, just to make it a bit more difficult to see them, particularly as they all seem to favour dark clothing.
So the mayor should make a stand. Footpaths are fine for the gophers. But the roads are a no go zone. This is a matter of public safety.
We guess this won’t make any potential mayor popular with the strong gopher driver cartel, but making tough decisions is part of responsible governance.
So is shouting the media. Especially sports writers and occasional columnists.