Gary hopes to bring a fresh perspective
AT 27 Gary Lowe is easily the youngest candidate for the coming Singleton Council election, and possibly the youngest ever.
Mr Lowe told The Argus he’d been considering running for a while, but a major verbal outburst among councillors at their last meeting convinced him to have a go.
“I think they’ve lost touch with people, they’re not listening as intently as required,” he said.
“I believe every member of our current council are good people trying to do the right thing and that every time they enter the chambers they are going not to intentionally hinder the progress of our community.
“However I believe that, potentially, councillors have lost their way and I know I can, in conjunction with the council and members of the community, help get Singleton back on track.”
Mr Lowe said the main thing he could bring to the council was a fresh perspective.
And he’s opened a site on the social network system, Facebook, called “Gary Lowe for Singleton Councillor” to get community feedback.
At this stage, Mr Lowe said he would definitely run as a councillor candidate and would decide next week whether or not to also contest the mayoral position.
Mr Lowe has been the Singleton Heights Sports Centre coordinator since the beginning of this year.
He joined the army in September 2003 and did initial training at Wagga Wagga before coming to Singleton army base early in 2004.
He became a parachute infantry soldier before leaving the army in September 2006.
Mr Lowe said the Singleton community should be proud of soldiers and coalminers and more should be done to embrace them in the community.
He said he would like to see Singleton’s central business district upgraded, perhaps by making John Street one-way traffic and widening footpaths for better pedestrian and outdoor eating opportunities.
Doing something about providing affordable housing in the shire was also a concern.
Tessa says nomination timing is right for her
TESSA Capsanis is a brave soul.
She was the first person to approach The Argus, outside Singleton’s current council, to put up their hand as a councillor candidate for the September 8 local government election.
With the council embroiled in well-documented, long-running controversy, Mrs Capsanis would have to be pretty game to enter the fray.
But she doesn’t see it like that.
While accepting there’s been turmoil, she has no intention of participating or commenting on specifics, she’d simply like to be part of the council’s rebuilding process.
“I would like to acknowledge that Singleton Council, and elected councillors, have done many good things for the community and this fact should not be overshadowed by recent events,” Mrs Capsanis said.
“I would like to express my thanks to councillors for putting up their hands to serve the public, it’s unfortunate that they are experiencing pain and stress as has been documented in The Argus.
“However, the time has come to focus on professionalism, cooperation and getting back to looking after the interests of the Singleton shire community and I am prepared to offer skills and experience to make this happen.”
Mrs Capsanis, 58, and her husband John have lived in Singleton for 31 years and raised their three children here.
She has worked as a nurse midwife and nursing manager in the public sector and with private firms in the health system.
“Why am I going to nominate? Because the timing is right,” she said.
“I’ve been thinking about it for several years and now my family has grown, I’m only working about three days a week and I have the time.
“My employment history has prepared me for the level of discipline, cooperation and collaboration that is required to be effective as a councillor.”
Mrs Capsanis said her work focus has been on community health.
“My view is that access and equity to services for rural people is something that needs constant attention,” she said.
“There are also other issues that affect general health, for instance the environment, local town planning and general civic services.”
It’s mayor or nothing for Terry
TERRY O’Brien won’t shop in Singleton.
He lives halfway between Windsor and Singleton, along the Putty Road, and chooses to shop in Windsor because of the money he can save on groceries.
“It’s not right when people in Singleton have to pay $5.50 a kilo for bananas when I can buy the same thing in Windsor for $2.20,” Mr O’Brien said.
He wants to address the cost of living in Singleton, believes a bypass is a waste of money and says the town has lost momentum.
“There is much more city pride and respect in Muswellbrook and Cessnock, yes, even Cessnock,” he told The Singleton Argus this week.
The trigger for Mr O’Brien’s decision to run for the position of mayor (he’s not interested in being a councillor) has been the excess of $1million spent on code of conduct legal expenses.
“This is an absolute disgrace, $1million would have sealed a significant amount of rural roads,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien spent 23 years in the airforce and retired as a wing commander in 1983. He then worked in private enterprise in software, with Lendlease and MLC Insurance, spending five years based in America and travelling Europe and Asia on business.
Mr O’Brien is a Liberal Party endorsed candidate.