Councillor Tony Wolfe might not have renominated for Warragul ward, but he’s not ruling out a return in the future.
WHEN nominations for Baw Baw’s 2012 council elections closed yesterday, two names were notably missing from the candidate lists; those of present councillors Adam Tyson and Tony Wolfe.
The two are the only sitting councillors not to re-nominate. Cr Tyson announced he would not be standing some time ago, but Cr Wolfe’s decision was made much later.
“I guess it was right down to the last minute,” Cr Wolfe told The Warragul Citizen this morning.
“I’d made my mind up that I wasn’t going again, but I just wanted to be certain and not say one thing and then change my mind at the last minute.”
“It wasn’t [a decision] I took lightly.”
Cr Wolfe has been on the council representing Warragul ward since 2008 and is leaving after one term for his career, although he is not ruling out a return to local government in the future.
“I guess the main reason I’ve decided not to continue is that I’d like to pursue my professional career a bit more,” Cr Wolfe said.
“I enjoyed it that much that I could’ve stuck my hand up again and gone again… but it wasn’t 100 per cent so I thought oh well, go with the gut feel (sic).
“I guess that’s been my feeling probably for the last couple of months maybe.
“I certainly would never rule it (a return) out, just at this moment I think for me, for my professional development if you like, it probably is better I’m not involved in council at this stage.
Cr Wolfe will be watching this year’s election from the sidelines, and has a warning for new candidates.
“I guess my best advice to them [is] to be aware during their campaigning that it’s extremely dangerous to one, bag other councillors or other candidates, and two, bag the organisation,” Cr Wolfe said.
“If you’re going to go out bagging the organisation that you’re going to in part be in charge of, you’ve got a lot of repair work to do before you earn back the respect.
“And the other candidates, you’re going to have to work with those people if you get in, so you don’t want to build enemies in your lead-up to making a harmonious working group.
As the election approaches, Cr Wolfe says some present councillors will use their position to project their profile in the community.
“Grandstanding’s the wrong word, it’s not grandstanding, but people try to become a little more vocal and try to get out there – it’s about raising your profile coming into an election period,” Cr Wolfe said.
“We’ve got two council meetings to go… and everybody’s out there trying to raise their profile sot they can get re-elected.
“It’ll be interesting to watch from the perspective of not needing to do that.”
The highlight of Cr Wolfe’s four years happened before the first budget.
“I was pretty happy, I’ve got to admit, the first year I was on and we managed to get [the] Shaping the Future [program] up in our first budget,” Cr Wolfe said.
“That was a really big milestone for the shire to get that program put in place and there’s been some fantastic achievements over the four year term.”
“Four years is a short term to get any long-term planning embedded and I think the Shaping the Future program was able to achieve that.
“The beauty of it was [although] council facilitated it… it was the community’s view of where they wanted the shire to go.”
Cr Wolfe intends on staying involved with the community, starting with a role establishing a course similar to the Gippsland Community Leadership Program for the Gippsland Climate Change Network.
“I’ve been asked to participate in that so that’ll be good, but I haven’t fully made up my mind as to which community activates I will remain involved in,” Cr Wolfe said.
“I guess there’s plenty of negatives against things that council does, but I’d really like to see some positive groups coming forward and assisting building the future for the shire.
“I’m not sure what form that’ll take and I’ll sorta (sic) keep my mind open at the moment, but I certainly want to remain involved.”
◄ Go to The Warragul Citizen’s Baw Baw 2012 election centre
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