CANDIDATE OTHA AKOCH:
10 QUESTIONS FROM THE TERRIER:
What three main skills could you bring to the Warrnambool City Council as a councillor?
Do you see any particular issues, projects or problems in Warrnambool that you would like to work on as a councillor?
Engaging our youth needs to be a priority. For example, by enhancing sporting and recreational facilities along with developing more forums to engage our youth. Connect new residential growth areas to the city via a Bromfield St extension to link the Special Development School and residents who live north of the Merri River to the city. Redevelopment of Flagstaff Hill to become a diverse cultural community hub or history, art and agriculture.
Do you think the council could be more “open” with residents and if so, how?
There should be no hidden agenda. The city council is a public office, so the meetings should be public. We should not have a hidden agenda that is kept from those who elected us. In addition to this, we need social forums where the public can ask questions, share ideas and express their views and ideas in a structured respectful environment.
The next 12 months is going to be challenging due to the impact of Covid-19 – do you have one or two key idea/s for how WCC could support residents and/or businesses?
The best thing the Warrnambool City Council can do for local businesspeople is fulfil their obligation to promote Warrnambool to maximise our tourist trade all year around. Not just in Summer, but during all times of the year. We have enough natural attractions to bring people year-round, but we have not marketed our beautiful city as we should have.
We can use this time to create those campaigns so that we are ready when Covid is over. We can make Warrnambool everyone’s first choice for a tourist destination.
Do you have any ideas on where the council could cut costs, if necessary, to keep rates at the state cap?
The problem of excessive spending by council will only ever be fixed by effective management. We need skilled businesspeople who are employed by the council to eliminate the need for consultants who come at a very high price and possibly with their own conflicts of interest that cost the ratepayers more money than necessary.
We have many projects that have cost more than they should have due to ineffective due diligence and process. For example, the main (Liebig) street works grossly exceeded budget due to mismanagement or due diligence during the planning phase.
Preferences will decide who is elected to the council. Are you planning to preference most highly new candidates, exisiting candidates or you won’t be putting forward preferences:
New candidates. (See preference list below).
If you were elected, what ways – if any – would you keep residents and ratepayers informed as an individual councillor?
Through open council meetings that a designated independent journalist reports on for the people. Through social media platforms and through consultation and open forums.
If you were elected, what would you have liked to have achieved at the end of your four-year term?
I would like to see local sporting facilities fully funded to maximise youth engagement and community involvement.
Are you a member of any political party? If so, which one?
In the past two years, have you been a member of any local club, organisation or association?
South Warrnambool Football Netball Club and Warrnambool Basketball Association.
Closing thoughts or ask and answer your own question here:
Good luck to all the new candidates and thank you to you Carol for the opportunity for us to share our thoughts with you.
You can find Otha’s candidate Facebook page here.
Otha’s preference list is below: