One time councillor of the Tablelands Regional Council Peter Hodge has announced his withdrawal from the Mayoral race, announcing instead he will contest the upcoming election as a councillor for Division 5. This comes after he announced his intent to run as a mayoral candidate late last year.
He told The Express that he wanted to concentrate on the council’s finances, something he could spend more time doing by becoming a councillor.
“I really want to get the council’s finances fixed and turned around,
“I discussed this with my wife, and with the juggling of my time with the council and with my business, I realised that I would have to employ staff for my business if I became mayor”
Mr Hodge said “This council has lurched from one disaster after another. If the council had been doing things right, I wouldn’t have stood. As it stands they have had four deficit budgets and that’s not good enough, it’s a very slippery slope. The previous council that I was part of left a $2.47 million dollar surplus”
“I’m hoping the new council will restore the standing committee on planning and finances and if I’m elected that’s something I would like to chair”
Peter feels that owning his own local business has given him a better understanding of how to get the council back in the black. “You’ve got to get your operating costs back to budget; constantly putting up rates won’t work”
He also said doesn’t have a preference for a Mayor “Whoever the local residents elect I will work with”
Peter has been living on the Tablelands since 1964 “I love living here because it’s a great area, the weather is great, I grew up here, I’ve played football here and I had a great job at the council for years”
Peter’s aims if he gets elected:
- Focus on getting the budget back into surplus
- All contracts will be discussed in open session; residents will be able to see who submitted for contracts, how they were scored and how they were awarded. It will all be transparent.
- Local contractors will be given preference.
- The reopening of the council works depot at Ravenshoe
Queensland’s next local government elections are due to be held on Saturday, 28 March 2020. Elections will be held for all mayors and councillors in the 77 councils across Queensland. Voting in local government elections is compulsory.