Cats, Dogs and Potholes

 

Boxers in tuxedos, massive signboards, flyers clogging letterboxes …wind, rain and hail.

This election campaign has had it all! 1475556848230

With over 27,000 voters and 15,000 households, Strand ward is by far Hobsons Bay’s most populous ward. That’s why there’s three councillors covering it, with Cherry Lake and Wetlands having two each.

I’ve worn through plenty of shoe leather tramping the many streets and lanes; from Williamstown in the south, to Spotswood, across Newport, and right up to Millers Road in the north-west.

If there have been two stand-out themes along my route, it’s surely cats and dogs!  The latter, of course, relates to the Western Bulldogs’ remarkable finals run and then their historic drought-breaking win.

 

20161004_143906-e1476832955392-300x225Tri-coloured bunting and Go Dogs signs greeted me everywhere and came in all shapes and sizes: along fences, in windows, on rooftops—there was even a red, white and blue hedge in Thompson St!

As for pussycats, rarely did I pass a street where there wasn’t a grey tabby sunning itself on a front porch, or peering imperiously back at me from a front window.

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It was a great chance to revisit my sprawling electorate; to chat with friendly folk who were happy to take my flyer…and bring their special needs to my attention.

 

If there’s one thing my door-knocks reinforced, it was that the Council has to deliver on the micro stuff; things like fixing footpaths and cleaning gutters.

Yes, you expect me to champion your cause on the big stuff: like level crossing removals and the Western Distributor, but you also expect the Council to do the day-to-day stuff as well and not take a month doing it.

Back lanes are top priorities for many people, particularly in old areas like Newport and Williamstown, where there are miles of 19th century rear laneways originally laid down for the sanitary man. A flurry of development and subdivisions have turned many into home streets, creating extra pressure and traffic problems never dreamt of when our city forefathers drew up our street map.

So, if I’m blessed with enough of your votes to get back into Council, I’ll make repairing more back lanes a top priority. Along with reviewing how we interact with you, and how quickly we solve your issue when you contact us. We need to make sure we do what we say, and follow the Customer Focus strategy.

Here’s what you want done better according to our annual survey:

  • Prompt response and follow up to inquiries
  • Information requests be directed to the right person—the first time
  • Website access to forms and information made easier to access and understand
  • A more efficient planning application process
  • The ability to interact and conduct business with Council outside of standard business hours.

To all those people who’ve helped me with this campaign, and all of the people of Hobsons Bay, I say ‘thank you’.

No matter the result, I’m already a winner. It’s been a privilege to serve. Grassroots government is truly rewarding.

 

Angela Altair.

 

 

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