Schilling is one of the triumvirate of current councillors who've reportedly been abusive of council workers and staff. More on this issue soon.
Division 2 has a long history of electing young upstarts to represent this division packed with young people. This area is negatively portrayed by many in Cairns as the locale of the troublemaking element in town. Martin has worked with the youth in this area, and brings a unique insight into the young people of Cairns. His videos "Word on the Street" are widely viewed - upwards of 20,000 viewings on Facebook alone. His method? Engaging with youth at a grassroots level with activities that challenge their mind and body.
Martin is a JCU graduate with a strong track record of community engagement. One of the principals in the Streets Community Centre in Bentley Park, Martin is a motivating speaker and organiser. He excels at building a consensus from those with wide-ranging ideas.
Schilling on the other hand is a builder of unimaginative housing as owner of Mac Constructions P/L, a position he's continued to hold while collecting his $100,000 pa Council salary. QBCC records show that Schilling has continued to build homes WHILE DRAWING HIS PAY AS A COUNCILLOR.
Disturbingly to many, Schilling's council-paid mobile phone (0412 773 730) looks to be the same as the contact phone for his construction company.
Schilling has used his friendship with "Sleepy" Bob Manning to get his Division's share of council projects. But he's shown little interest in dealing with the youth issues so vital in this part of the city - other than calling for more police and more jail time. Those methods have proven to be ineffective. But REAL solutions take expertise and time. With Schilling dividing his time between his "full-time" councillor position and his "full-time" home builder job, he's disqualified himself for reelection as we see it.
Schilling is foul-mouthed bully who didn't even get consulted for the Mayor's shocking plan to put rock concerts at a council-owned racetrack.
The comparison between Jesse Martin and John Schilling is reflective of the crossroads that our city finds itself grappling with. The "old boys" club of mates like Schilling take no risks and get no rewards. The millennial generation of up-and-coming leaders like Jesse Martin who are stepping up to put their stamp on the future of Cairns.
Jesse Martin is a proven community leader. He doesn't wear some cheesy-looking hat. And he doesn't go on the radio and embarrass himself and his colleagues.
We urge the voters of Division 2 to take the time and listen to their candidates. Go forward, or stand still. It's a choice that should be easy for the electorate. All of Cairns will benefit from a councillor with Martin's ability to engage the youth on the south side.