Vote for me: Leo Muller
I MIGRATED to Australia from Switzerland in 1977. My wife Sylvia and I married in Coffs Harbour in 1980 and immediately fell in love with the place. We proudly call Coffs Harbour home.
In 1983 we settled on a small farm in Bonville where we started growing stone fruit and still do so, raising three boys and now enjoy three grandchildren.
I therefore have a strong under- standing of the needs of families. My first job in Coffs Harbour was as a motor mechanic at one of the leading motor dealerships. Later on I taught at TAFE and in 1995 Sylvia and I started our own mechanical workshop which we still run. I understand the challenges facing small business.
We have travelled overseas and extensively around Australia and have an understanding of different communities. Over the years I developed a keen interest in our local community and politics.
It seems to me the council too easily resorts to rate increases to balance an oversubscribed budget, but 80% of income earners in the region earn less than the average wage.
Our elderly population especially feel the pinch due to increased costs beyond their control. For most people it's the bottom line that counts.
My strong Christian ethics and integrity underpin a belief each citizen deserves openness and accountability from their local council. It needs to be remembered council employees (including councillors and mayor) are there in a serving role and should respond to their ratepayers in a realistic and transparent way.
There are, of course, council issues that divide the community but there is nothing worse than not dealing with some of the harder issues, hoping they will go away, as the saying goes "after all is said and done, a lot was said but not much done".