Foursome reckons it’s just the ticket Coffs Coast Advocate

STANDING: Ray Smith, Cr Keith Rhoades, George Cecato and Martin Wells will contest the Coffs Harbour City Council election on the ticket Coffs Coast First.
STANDING: Ray Smith, Cr Keith Rhoades, George Cecato and Martin Wells will contest the Coffs Harbour City Council election on the ticket Coffs Coast First.
LONGSTANDING Coffs Harbour City councillor and former mayor Keith Rhoades has teamed up with Chamber of Commerce president George Cecato and local business owners Ray Smith and Martin Wells to contest the local council election.

Promising a return to stable, progressive council, The ‘Coffs Coast First’ group vows to create the environment for ‘a prosperous, attractive and growing city with excellent regional infrastructure and a focus on new jobs.’

Cr Rhoades, the Local Government NSW president, will be the ticket’s mayoral candidate having served as a local councillor since 1991 and mayor from 2004-2012.

“Elements of the current council have been dysfunctional and inconsistent,” Cr Rhoades said.

“We need councillors that can set direction, debate issues sensibly, and then act in the region’s long-term interests.”

“Our group’s particular agenda is in providing opportunities for both older and younger locals to stay in the region – and hopefully attracting plenty of new residents in the process.”

Also standing on the ticket are Thrifty Car and Truck Rental licensee George Cecato, Tom Jung Quarries and Total Gardens managing director Ray Smith and McGrath Estate Agents Coffs Harbour and Sawtell principal Martin Wells.

“The NSW Government has identified Coffs Harbour as one of the state’s major regional cities for this century,” Mr Cecato said.

“Now is the time to take control of that growth agenda, to ensure Coffs remains a fantastic place to visit, live, invest and raise a family and to do that we need a strong, united and progressive council.”

The ticket’s key issues are encouraging new businesses and enterprise to relocate to the Coffs Coast, re-energising the Coffs Harbour Economic Development Unit; improving local infrastructure, lobbying for the Coffs Harbour bypass, completing the Harbour Foreshores beautification, planning a staged development of a cultural and entertainment centre and ensuring sound financial management within the council. 

One Reply to “Foursome reckons it’s just the ticket Coffs Coast Advocate”

  1. I am usually a very optimistic person but this particular announcement sorely tests that.

    I’m sorry but all the talk in the world about creating “the environment for a prosperous, attractive and growing city with excellent regional infrastructure and a focus on new jobs” is meaningless without detailed specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, timeline, strategies and goals attached to them.

    I wait for such detail more in desperation than anticipation. Why? Because this group’s candidate for Mayor has been on the CHCC as a Councilor for almost a quarter of a century apparently and for eight of those years as Mayor and he has not shown any real runs on the board in this regard. Arguably just the opposite. It is time for new blood. Twenty five years is more than enough. One gets the strong feeling this is seen as a job rather than a passionate vocation by this group’s Mayoral candidate.

    IMHO it’s time to move on Mr Rhodes and I suspect the voters said just that to you last time. Maybe they need to be far more emphatic this time?

    I also cringe at the thought of more Real Estate Agents on council. Their track record in local government in NSW is “less than stellar”, and even downright problematic in fact.

    I’m sorry but the temptation for ongoing ‘conflict of interest’ issues in relation to Councilors who are also Real Estate Agents and/or Developers is just too great and legislation should be introduced in NSW banning them from elected local government positions unless they resign their employment positions and place all their assets and holdings on a public registrar.

    I think this may in fact be policy in other states and other countries with similar local government set ups as we have here. It isn’t a radical proposal.

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