Team for Change candidates will not vote as bloc or name preferred mayor of Coorong District Council

Glynis Taylor, unsuccessful candidate Fiona Paech, Paul Simmons, Lisa Rowntree and Brenton Qualmann say they will not vote as a bloc on the new Coorong council. Photo: File.
Glynis Taylor, unsuccessful candidate Fiona Paech, Paul Simmons, Lisa Rowntree and Brenton Qualmann say they will not vote as a bloc on the new Coorong council. Photo: File.

United they stood, but divided – if necessary – they will govern.

So say the Team for Change candidates who will take up six of nine positions on the Coorong council when they are inducted this Friday.

Paul Simmons, Lisa Rowntree, Glynis Taylor, Jeff Arthur, Brenton Qualmann and Tracy Hill will not vote as a bloc at council meetings.

The team approach was necessary to make sure there was enough turnover on the council, several of the new councillors said.

Its job was now done, and each would be free to express his or her opinion on any matter.

"We're not a political party," Mr Simmons said.

They have not come to any arrangement about who should be appointed mayor at the council's first meeting next Tuesday, either.

But Mr Simmons, who was deputy mayor in 2009-10, is firming as a likely candidate.

He confirmed to The Standard that he would put his hand up.

Returning councillor Jeff Arthur said Mr Simmons would be "the logical choice" and would have his vote.

Ms Hill said her only preference was for someone with previous experience on the council: "I don't think any newbies should just walk in and think they can be the mayor".

Ms Taylor said the Team had discussed the mayoralty and that more than one candidate would stand, but declined to name names.

Whoever gets the job will receive an annual allowance of $39,600, four times that received by an ordinary councillor.

But whatever the the outcome of the mayoral vote, each councillor-elect said the former Team candidates would share a common focus on the state of the district's roads, the cost of its rates and the size of its debts.

"We don't need to be a fancy council; we don't need to be a glossy council," Ms Rowntree said.

"It's not going to help ratepayers if the council wins an award."

Only three candidates not aligned with the Team for Change were re-elected: Vern Leng and Sharon Bland, unopposed, and previous mayor Neville Jaensch.

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