We intend to be front and centre with commentary on the candidates, their stated goals and policies, and other pertinent voter information.
The three announced candidates for Mayor are the incumbent, Val Schier along with current Division 8 councillor Margaret Cochrane and former Cairns developer and blow-in Ian Thomas. Still to decide are rumoured candidate former Mayor Kevin Byrne currently working in PNG and former Port Authority chairman Bob Manning.
Cochrane clearly has been anointed by John MacKenzie with the 300 or so hillbilly votes, however her changeable, two-faced views on the Entertainment Precinct have undermined her credibility with voters we've spoken to. While now taking a position that we should "sit" on the project for two years, she voted to approve the Trinity Inlet site and various other procedural approvals over the last two years.
Likewise Ian Thomas (Jaerok P/L, t/a Tropic Coast Developments) has made the Entertainment Precinct the cornerstone of his campaign - he says he'll kill it altogether. Given that contracts will be negotiated and signed by the election date, this is the worst of all possible alternatives. It would cost the ratepayers tens of millions in cancellation fees, engender claims and lawsuits, and do nothing to get the needed Civic Theater replacement underway. Thomas has also made other ridiculous statements that have shown he has no interest in the arts community - he keeps referring the the "loss-making" that the arts community facilities cost the council. Really no different than the loss-making of the sports facilities, or bin pickup or the libraries. Thomas has been bitch slapped by the "social media inhabitants" from Cairns on places like Facebook, and he's asked to leave several of the discussion groups when the heat has gotten to much for him to handle. Seems the Cairns community isn't very interested in a guy that has lived in a million-dollar Gold Coast waterfront home for most of the last ten years, only to blow into Cairns at election time as the "developer's best friend". We know how that ends - badly. However Thomas is already throwing big money at the startup of his campaign, and the printers, web designers, and t-shirt printers are rooting hard for this cash injection into their business.
And with the EP project now underway, it would seem any candidate building their candidacy on delaying/stopping/changing/moving the Entertainment Precinct is selling stale bread. Except of the hard core hillbilly naysayers, Elvis has left the building.
Fortunately, there are rumours of two more likely candidates for Division 5, so all is not lost.
Councils are non-partisan. Some of the current candidates are attempting to attach the ALP moniker to their opponents, with the thought that Labor's brand is so damaged that this will undermine their opponent. This is like Belling the Cat. Most of the electorate can see thru this nonsense.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS TODAY:
Driving the Cook Highway at 9:30 this morning, a police ute tailgating drivers from Trinity Beach all the way to the airport. In some places drivers going 80k had this ute five meters or less from their boot!
No signals exiting the roundabouts.
Sitting on 95 in the right lane in the 100k section of the highway between Yorkey's and Holloway's.
Who's policing the coppers? This is pretty deplorable. And there was no "L PLATE" on this ute, either.
Resident history of reporting Police for bad driving has limited value. Hence the photos that were taken.