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Paul Simmons hopes to be the first Coorong mayor chosen by the people
Cr Simmons has confirmed he will seek re-election at the 2022 council poll.
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Paul Simmons will aim to become the Coorong district’s first popularly elected mayor at the upcoming council election.
That includes Cr Simmons, who has held the role for the past four years.
But a rule change at the upcoming election means Coorong ratepayers will be able to pick their own mayor for the first time.
Cr Simmons confirmed to Murray Bridge News that he would put his hand up, even after a “challenging” four years.
“There’s plenty of projects the council has initiated that are still in planning processes,” he said.
“Due to COVID, there’s many things that we haven’t been able to get done.”
One was securing a potable water supply for Wellington East.
Another was having some sort of visitor facility built at Salt Creek, on the Coorong.
“After 18 years in local government, I’m nearer the end than the beginning of my local government career,” he said – but he did not intend to throw in the towel just yet.
Whoever is elected mayor of the Coorong district will have plenty of work to do to clean up a culture of nearly endless in-fighting which has marked the past four years.
Councillors passed a vote of no confidence in Cr Simmons’ leadership at one point, and filed at least seven code of conduct complaints against each other.
A 2020 investigation found the council was on the brink of collapse due to a “polarising and destructive” culture among elected members.
Nominations for the upcoming council elections opened on Tuesday and will close on September 6.
Nominate as a council election candidate: candidateportal.ecsa.sa.gov.au/home.
Have your say and shape Murray Bridge News’ election coverage
What will help you make up your mind as you decide who to vote for?
We want to hear about the issues that matter to you in the Coorong and Murray Bridge at these elections.
We can put your concerns to each of the candidates and help you find out where they stand.
Have your say: www.surveymonkey.com.
How to vote in the council elections
Voting in this year’s council elections will be by post.
Residents and registered voters should receive their ballot papers between October 14 and 20, and will be due to return them by November 10.
Votes will be counted and winners declared on November 12.
More information: www.ecsa.sa.gov.au.
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