THE incoming mayor of Horsham Rural City Council has shared his vision for the coming year.
Councillor Mark Radford was officially sworn into the role for the 2018-19 term on Thursday night. He had previously served as mayor in 2014-15.
He said his vision for the council was to follow the council plan and the Budget while “keeping an eye on the present and future”.
“The mayor’s role is not quite as visionary. I see it more as a baton change – (former mayor) Pam Clarke has finished up and I now have the baton to run,” he said. “There are two important documents that the council has – the council plan and the council Budget.
“The plan has all the visionary projects of where we want to be and is endorsed by the community.
“It is the road map of where we want to go. We need to keep an eye on the present and an eye of the future and we need to be funding our projects with the Budget.”
Cr Radford said Horsham was a growing regional city that needed to take advantage of its city status.
He said providing regional services and making the city an attractive place for professionals should be “front-and-centre” in councillors’ minds.
“It’s an ongoing priority and if the municipality wants to stay ahead of the game, we need to be proactive and not reactive,” he said. “We need to look ahead five, 10, 20 years. If that’s where we want to be, then how are we going to get there?”
Cr Radford said he wanted the councillors to feel that their time spent on council was “productive and enjoyable”.
“The mayor has a role to help existing councillors feel like they are contributing,” he said. “People either use the phrase a team of councillors or a group of councillors.
“I prefer a group of councillors because we are seven individuals who were handpicked by the community. We have a job to do and need to retain our individuality.
“A team heads in the same direction together, but the council is different. At times we agree unanimously, but other times we don’t and that’s okay.”
While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.