'If I was Mayor for a day': Gympie fires up over top issues
IF RATEPAYERS could spend a day as Gympie's top elected local politician there are a number of things they would change.
Readers responded passionately when The Gympie Times asked on social media about what residents would do if they could be Gympie's mayor for the day.
The response gave a snap shot of some of the important issues immediately affecting the community and from the 122 answers some common themes developed including an aim to decrease rates, improve roads and offer support for those less fortunate in the community.
The new $65 000 council Christmas tree would be quickly tossed out or traded in by would-be mayors and the equivalent money used to fix rural roads in the region.
"Abolish beautification works and the new Christmas tree,” Judith Green wrote.
"Get the residents to email CEO every street that needs road repair and prepare the extremely long list for immediate funding action.
"Organise use of every unoccupied safe building for night use by homeless people (this will require goodwill from charities and volunteers groups).”
The Mary valley Rattler was also fair game with Faye Boyd closing down the tourist attraction "to stop the financial drain on Gympie rate payers”.
Mary St also featured prominently on the to-do list.
Michael Stevenson suggested turning Gympie's main street into a pedestrian mall and Ina Wagner suggested holding Sunday markets there.
"Any shop in the street can project onto the street and (it would) encourage the food shops and pubs to have outside dining and beer gardens,” Mr Stevenson said.
"Make it the heart of the town again.”
Ken Pedler questioned where shoppers would park, while Mr Stevenson said adjoining streets and car parks as well around Memorial Park would service the area.
Judy Dakin warned that taking traffic and parking from Mary St would seriously harm the street's trade as seen in other cities such as Rockhampton.
Bradley Ross thought filling the empty shops with the different sections of Kmart might keep everyone happy.
More seriously, Jason McPherson said his order of the day would be focused on council transparency and accountability.
"Firstly I would open the books and show rate payers the reasoning for the rate rise,” Mr McPherson said.
"Show them that as their weekly operational cost have gone up, so had the councils....I would also impose a report card system to show what items a councillor have achieved for the dedicated area for the people who voted them in. This would include showing who voted for and against any items. I would ask for a time sheet to see where their hours go and are they productive.”
Karla Loren: Stop the gardeners from making the town look so old fashioned like a grandma's or a cemetery from with 1960s . Eeww hedges and pansies. I'd look at South Bank, Brisbane for modern garden inspiration.
Jaine Jackson: Why do we need to spend on such an expensive idea when we can put many lights in our current trees? And help our farmers (our food) and make Gympie 'great again'...not another suburb of the Sunshine Coast.
Wally Waye: Keep traffic out of Mary Street.
Nikita Gallaher: Support/ feed and build a place for the homeless people.
Scotty Adam Maree Bouveng wow who's paying for all that?
Rebecca Louise Pickett: I would withdraw all council money, put it into a trust account that the people can vote on how it all gets spent, so roads can be fixed, rates can be lowered, and the people who live and work here can all have a say as to what is important to them.
Jenny Rigby: Do not spend all our money on things example Xmas tree unless ratepayers agree. We should have a say what happens with money.
Skye Hughes That's what your local councillor is for.. to speak and vote on behalf of the ratepayers in their division.
Marguerite Baker: Widen Repeater Station Road, Mt Kanigan.
Pamela Birch: Allow free access to water filling stations for all residents.
Joyanne Lake: Put a halt on buying bright shiny things for Gympie and donate the money to something that would give someone a helping hand....ummm like drought affected peeps.
Kim Chambers: Throw a BBQ at the aquatic centre and get locals to write their suggestions in a suggestion box.
Ina Wagner: 4 free Dump vouchers for ratepayers per annum.
Sandra Gilchrist: Spend money on roads not on stupid statues, Christmas trees and trains.
Chaz Gartrell: Free dumping of green waste and a free trailer of garden mulch as they do in the Fraser Coast Council.
Leanne Jones-pfitzner Go back through all meeting minutes.
Anna Miletic: Not waste money on a new Christmas tree.
Chris Smith: Simply listen to ratepayers. Spend Money on rural roads instead of on the money-sucking Rattler.
Rose Kane: Reopen every waste disposal/tip free of charge.
Karyn Palmer: Take a pay cut and reduce rates.
Trina Barnes Scrap the Christmas tree to make sure everyone has access to food, water and shelter this Christmas.
Karri Bunter Stop spending money on frivolous things that the community do not want.
Ken Pedler: Stop wasting money on stuff that does not pay a return and lower rates.
Karla Loren: Put at Starbucks opposite KFC