Last Monday (August 21) evening I attended the first of the three Meet the Candidates meetings.
While I now live in Hawks Nest, my allegiance and historical interests are still heavily engaged with Stroud where I resided for over 20 years.
Any of the meeting venues would mean a 240 kilometre round trip but assuming I would bump into a few familiar Stroud residents, I opted for Gloucester.
Having read little about my 69 candidates, I resorted to reading their online registration forms.
A surprising 60 per cent had written ‘nil’ where they had the opportunity to expound the virtues as to why I should be considering voting for them.
Frankly, this Gloucester meeting was a shemozzle and I hope lessons will be learned from it for the next two encounters.
The first hiccup being the microphones only marginally worked and if each group representative was saying something really important, I think I may have missed it.
Secondly, where were 30 per cent of these candidates – are they so keen they weren’t even at this first meeting?
Unpolished as were the majority of the speeches, one could also hardly tell if the 58 who will not succeed on September 9, will either be surprised or even disappointed.
Obviously, my own interest in the 11 newly to-be-elected councillors, from a pre-merger 25, was not shared by my ex-Stroud compatriots as I barely managed to count six familiar faces.
I intently listened to the two hours of muffled rhetoric hoping to hear if Stroud and Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest would get the mention they deserved but alas, while two candidates’ obvious ‘passion’ is with these areas, it was still disappointing to