Transparency, accountability and commitment to the job are characteristics deemed essential in an effective councillor, according to a recent survey.
But, getting elected is no easy feat.
In an unconventional twist, the Ballarat Residents and Ratepayers Association is holding a series of mentor sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about becoming a Ballarat councillor in October’s Local Government Election.
BRRA's Governance Working Group Convener and former mayor John Barnes said the focus of this weekend’s session is “how to get yourself elected”.
“At this week’s session, candidates will be able to hear from a number of former councillors and mayors who have successfully run for council and they will give tips on how they were elected,” Mr Barnes said.
“But, there will also be a few of us there, who may not have been successful every time we ran for council so candidates will be able to learn from our failures as well as our successes.”
Mr Barnes said previous mentor sessions had been met with strong support.
But he suspected there were a number of people in the community yet to reveal their candidacy.
A recent online survey by The Courier found electing councillors who are accountable for their behaviour and decision making is the number one priority for Ballarat ratepayers.
It comes after the Municipal Association of Victoria surveyed more than 170 current councillors across the state to seek personal accounts of a councillor's role and tips on getting elected.
The survey found many councillors underestimated the time and commitment the role required.
Ballarat panellists giving out expert advice include former councillors Cheryl Bromfield, Judy Verlin and Liz Sheedy as well as former council chief executive Janet Dore.
The mentoring sessions will run from 9.30 to 11.00am every Saturday until September 17 inside the Trench Room at the Town Hall, Sturt Street.
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