It will be with a huge sigh of relief that most see the end of the byelection process for Lithgow Shire Council.
Already dubbed ‘The Goodies’ on social media, Deanna Goodsell and Darryl Goodwin will now have the responsibility, along with Lithgow’s other councillors, to maintain a balanced, stable and productive council for the community.
Some people, frustrated by the disfunction that led to the byelection, felt so annoyed at having to vote again so soon that they elected to stay at home and cop the $55 fine, or vote informally.
(A note to those people: Don’t expect an audience if you then decide to complain about the outcome.)
It is difficult for any council to function at its best with empty seats in the chamber.
Important actions, most notably the all-important job of appointing a permanent general manager, can now be carried out.
There is also the multi-million dollar revitalisation project for Lithgow’s CBD to be overseen, with a construction deadline looming.
The feedback from voters has been clear: We do not want to go back to the polls again until the next regularly scheduled election.
So, what do voters want and expect from their new councillors and the refreshed Lithgow City Council?
They expect them to give their best, to listen, to care and to act thoughtfully, always in the interests of their ratepayers.
Most ratepayers do not care what politics councillors are bringing to the table. Everyone has their baggage, everyone has their particular viewpoints. No one is a clean slate.
What they do expect is that these politics will not interfere with every councillor’s determination to do their very best for their ratepayers.
There should be a unity of purpose there, even though individuals will see vastly different ways of getting to their goal of improving Lithgow for its residents.
Each councillor will have their own view of what is the best action for their ratepayers, but that is why we have elected nine independent councillors, to provide balance and fairness, and speak for a wide cross-section of the community.
Councillor elect Deanna Goodsell said it well on Tuesday after her election, reaffirming that there would always be disagreements within council, but these conversations could be carried out with decorum and respect.