BALLARAT Councillor Samantha McIntosh has been dubbed the peoples’ choice to be the city’s next mayor in an online poll.
The online survey undertaken by The Courier on Tuesday attracted almost 800 votes with Cr McIntosh receiving almost 27 per cent.
The poll comes just weeks before the city’s next mayor is appointed on November 16. While humbled by the win, Cr McIntosh said responsibilities of the top job ran deeper than popularity.
“It’s really not a popularity contest,” Cr McIntosh said. “It’s really about ensuring we provide the right sort of leadership for our community by providing the right information and knowledge to them. It’s about making the right decisions for the public and listening to what they have to say.”
She said the council’s focus needed to remain on resolving major projects, giving businesses direction and creating employment and opportunities for growth in the city.
Cr McIntosh believed her strong vote came down to one thing: listening to 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 views on the table.”
To date, Cr McIntosh is the only councillor to confirm she would be standing for mayor.
Cr McIntosh’s win was followed by Cr Amy Johnson who snagged 19.76 per cent of votes just ahead of Cr Belinda Coates who received 19.16 per cent of votes.
Veteran Councillor Des Hudson came in fourth receiving 15.9 per cent of votes followed by Vicki Coltman with 8.19 per cent of votes.
The city’s current mayor ranked sixth with 3.13 per cent of votes followed closely by Cr Glen Crompton (3 per cent) Peter Innes (2.41 per cent) and Jim Rinaldi (2.29 per cent).Earlier this week, a council insider predicted the race could be as close as just one vote between candidates.
The Courier understands councillors Samantha McIntosh, Des Hudson and Vicki Coltman are expected to stand for the top job but they could have competition from Cr Philips and Cr Coates who are still deciding if they will stand. Cr Hudson and Cr Coltman have so far declined to confirm or deny if they are standing.
Cr Johnson and Cr Innes will stand for deputy mayor while Cr Crompton and Rinaldi have both confirmed they will not stand. Councillors will vote at a meeting on November 16.