Mayoral elections could be a risky business
While I respect the view that residents should elect a mayor directly, rather than have a mayor elected by councillors, there are a number of considerable risks attached to this ("Split on mayoral vote", Wollondilly Advertiser, July 29).
First, a popularly elected mayor will be able to claim authority (mandate) based on being placed into that position by citizens via a democratic process.
Such authority could not be challenged, except by holding another election.
Second, inevitably in time, situations would arise where a popularly elected mayor held views that were in conflict with a majority of councillors.
Councillors could claim a mandate for their views, and the mayor could also claim a mandate.
How would this impasse situation be resolved?
Ordinary voters who may not have a deep understanding of the political process could not be blamed for thinking that it would be more democratic to have residents elect the mayor.
However, in practice, such a path can only lead to a less stable council and therefore a less efficient and effective council.
Geoff Johnston, Bargo
Popular vote backed
I write to clarify my position on the issue of a popularly elected mayor for Wollondilly.
Firstly let me state that I am absolutely 100 per cent behind this issue and have always been.
I believe the residents have every right to decide who will be the mayor.
The issue with which I have a great concern is the proposal to reduce the number of councillors which accompanies the motion which was passed at the last council meeting.
My concerns are not based on a personal position of an increased workload for the proposed fewer councillors but that the residents may not have the representation they deserve as a result.
The suggestion that this viewpoint is held because I do not want to be contacted by residents is frankly offensive.
I have always attempted to be available to any resident who may wish to approach me.
The simple truth is that Wollondilly is getting bigger.
Currently the sheer size of some of the wards make it difficult to represent them fully.
Any reduction in the number of councillors in inverse proportion to the size of the shire will only exacerbate the situation. With the planning proposals before council at the moment I believe a redistribution of the ward boundaries is appropriate.
A simple solution ... is to keep the number of councillors at eight, divided into four wards.
It is for this reason and this reason only that I have lodged a rescission motion.
Wollondilly councillor Ray Law
In search of a soldier
The Deniliquin Genealogy Society are researching World War I soldiers from Deniliquin.
We are researching a World War I soldier called Robert Joseph Ackroyd Allen born in Deniliquin in 1886.
From 1943 to 1958 he was recorded as living at Mount Keirda Road, Douglas Park, via Picton, as a farmer.
He died in 1960 at Picton.
Would any of your readers have any information on this soldier and his life at Picton?
Or are there any descendants still in the area?
Anyone with information can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Val Hardman, president, Deniliquin Genealogy Society Inc