Councillor reflects on the ‘funny old times we’re living in’
Councillor Paul Amos had just made up his mind to run again on an independent ticket at the next local government elections when Covid-19 intervened.
Late last month the NSW Government postponed the September 2020 elections for 12 months to September 2021.
"I always said I wouldn't commit until March as I would need about six months to get things organised but now I don't need to make a commitment for another year.
"I was on a ticket with a few other people whom I believe would be a great asset to the city but now I will have to wait and see what pans out.
"I've got to make sure I'm not doing the wrong thing by my family. By then I will have two grandchildren (living in Sydney)."
Some of his fellow Councillors say the 12-month postponement was a little over cautious.
"I'm indifferent really, it is what it is, and it's funny old times we're living in, so you just play the cards you're dealt with.
"I probably did expect them to be postponed and at that stage I was wondering if it was a little bit too long, but there is so much indecision. I'm not really sure how quickly this will resolve itself."
He is the owner of the Bailey Centre and says traffic through the 24-hour service station has been halved since the pandemic hit.
"We haven't laid of any staff and we're still operating 24 hours a day. It's just a matter of us working to our template and seeing this though.
"We are the recipient of job keeper allowance as with most other businesses."
Cr Amos has long warned of cost blowouts on the controversial Cultural and Civic Space. Back in June last year he said Councillors were "fighting over the scraps" after over-committing to the project.
"Two years ago it was $35-million and the latest figure is $78-million, but at end of day I wouldn't be surprised if it worked out a lot more than that," he said last year.
The issue has been dividing Councillors ever since with a four-four split often leading to Mayor Denise Knight using her casting vote to progress the Gordon Street project.
And again last week he was on the same side of the four-four split, voting with Crs Tegan Swan, John Arkan, and Keith Rhoades to halt the project.
Despite the split he asserts Councillors have a great deal of respect and goodwill towards each other.
"Aside from this one issue of the civic space we as a Council group get on famously.
"We have overseen some big results for the people of Coffs Harbour. One that comes to mind is the bypass where we worked cohesively contributing to a very good result for our community and another was on the Jetty Foreshores where we made sure the government was aware the community didn't want that area over developed."