BALLARAT City Council’s most effective councillor has been revealed.
And Cr Samantha McIntosh believes her strong vote comes down to one thing: listening to the people.
“It’s the ability to sit back and listen to what people want, even if it’s not your view,” Cr McIntosh said.“It’s important to put everyone’s vision on the table.”
Cr McIntosh received 22.1 per cent of the vote in The Courier’s online survey on the council’s performance, conducted less than three months out from the end of the current council term.
Councillors Des Hudson and Judy Verlin tied for second on 14.8 per cent, mayor Mark Harris had 14.6 per cent and Cr Ben Taylor was fifth on 14.3 per cent.
Cr McIntosh said she saw her main role as listening to all the views she received from ratepayers.
“I’m prepared to put my view forward but I also encourage people to have a say.
“Getting the job done is the crux of who I am.”
However, Cr McIntosh said she couldn’t have done anything on her own.
She also said her stand against the $40 million Civic Hall proposal had probably affected the vote.
“With the Civic Hall, it would have been silly not to take note of the different surveys, community consultations, community walks, letters to the editor and letters pushed through my mailbox.
“We have to take note of what people are saying. There was too much talk about the proposal lying on the table and we needed not to be blind to that.
“We need to take note of the bigger picture.”
Cr McIntosh said she was still undecided about whether to stand again in the October elections.
“I have a family and a lot of responsibilities and commitments that come first, but I do love being in a community role,” she said.
“We’re here to represent the people and it’s an honour to do that and it’s important that we listen.
“It’s not just about business, it’s not just about economics, but it’s about the people on the ground.
“What are the needs of people and can we deliver some of those needs in a financially responsible manner?
“I like the attitude of how we can, not how we can’t.”