Div 14 candidates prepare to face the firing line
By JADE BILOWOL
THE eclectic mix of candidates contesting the Division 14 by-election will soon endure a taste of life in the public eye in a gruelling question-and-answer session.
Friends of Currumbin will host "Meet the Candidates" on Saturday, January 15, to help ratepayers between Currumbin and the border determine who will best represent their interests, in the lead-up to the January 22 by-election.
Amid community anger dogging the current council, Friends of Currumbin president Wilf Ardill said it was paramount Division 14 "got it right".
He said the community meeting would help finalise ratepayers' decision to replace the late Sue Robbins with someone most suited to the post ? not necessarily with the most financial backing.
"Unlike the earlier election, candidates in this by-election have just not had the time to listen to the opinions of rate- payers," Mr Ardill said.
Candidates are each currently preparing a five-minute response to three questions put together by Friends of Currumbin, and will attempt to convince the audience of their merits while the other candidates remain outside.
Afterwards, they will "stand in the firing line" while the audience pose questions to the group.
Prepared questions concern the candidates' abilities to manage conflicting views on a subject and explanation of decisions made to ratepayers, as well as their views towards the so-called "bloc" voting arrangement for Division 14.
Mr Ardill said Division 14 offered complex responsibilities because in addition to its "mum and dad" ratepayers, there was a large pensioner segment.
Candidates and ratepayers will meet at 2pm on Saturday, January 15 at the Sawrey Room, at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin.
WHO will score your vote?
A diverse range of people have put their hand up for Division 14, including Greens campaigner Anja Light, past Division 14 candidate Bradley Stubbs and Kellie Trigger, electoral officer for Mudgeeraba MP Dianne Reilly.
Special school teacher Linda Carmody, former council public relations officer James Kelly, Chris Robbins, the sister-in-law of the late Sue Robbins, and regular letter-to-the-editor writer Warren James, who has unsuccessfully run twice, are also vying for the seat.
Former air hostess Charlotte Marriott, 30-year Division 14 resident Lyn Scammel, Tugun hamburger maker Jack Dunn, who caused a media frenzy when Hungry Jack's unsuccessfully took him to court, John Vanzino, who has worked as a council complaints and compliance officer for eight years, Thomas James Seymour, Rex Waddington and Ian Wood have also put up their hands to represent Division 14.