Goulburn's Labor Party branch is making its first foray into local government with a ticket at the December poll.
As to how voters will receive it, branch president and lead candidate Jason Shepherd believes people will generally be "okay" with the idea.
"There will be so-called independents out there who will say there is no place for politics at council," he said.
"There are only some people I respect when they say that and I think the community understands when politics are involved."
Goulburn Labor also tried to run a ticket in 2012 but pulled out.
This time, Mr Shepherd will head up a ticket of five, including Anna Wurth-Crawford, Danielle Marsden-Ballard, Warren Murray and Nathan Smith in that order.
He said if elected, a caucus system would not necessarily apply and representatives could vote the way they liked.
He intended to run by himself but told The Post it would have been "dishonest" to do so as an independent, given his well known Labor involvement. The ticket concept evolved from there.
The 50-year-old consultant engineer of the past 28 years specialises in defence and law enforcement fields, designing training facilities. He also designs high-end security systems for the federal government.
Mr Shepherd grew up at Binda, attended the local primary school and then Crookwell High. He has worked overseas but returned to Goulburn 12 years ago. Now he's looking for new horizons.
"I think I have a lot to offer on (Goulburn Mulwaree) Council," he said.
"I have a lot of skills in program planning, engineering, how things fit together and sorting out the BS from reality."
Mr Shepherd is an SES volunteer, a former member of Goulburn Health Services' community consultative committee, a past director of Angels for the Forgotten, which established Goulburn's first food bank, a former Kids in Care committee member and Meals on Wheels volunteer of 10 years. As a complex post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer he has used his experience to mentor veterans with Soldier On.
The recently remarried long time sole carer single parent of two school-aged children and a former foster parent says he also appreciates the need to create local educational and work opportunities to stem the youth urban 'drift.'
If elected, he would like to see more council assets used for community benefit, in the same vein as Goulburn Workspace. Further, Mr Shepherd advocates greater use of council land for sustainability purposes.
"I'd also like to see more council work going to locals," he said.
"A lot of people could expand their businesses and employ more people if they had these contracts. Divall's (Earthmoving and Haulage) is a great example of that."
Similarly, the council could employ more apprenticeships.
He is no fan of Veolia's proposed waste to energy plant and argues that if it's "so green and clean" the material can be burnt in Sydney. This would also free up the rail system.
However he was pleased that the council had "stuck to its guns," joining community opposition to the this plant and the now withdrawn Jerrara Power facility proposal at Bungonia.
Mr Shepherd said Goulburn Mulwaree's rail services should be vastly improved and easier connections were vital.
"We used to be a rail hub but now, much of the time, we have to go to Moss Vale to connect (with Sydney-bound services)," he said.
In addition, Mr Shepherd said he'd work to strike compromise on controversial developments like Wakefield Park and advocate for more infrastructure and transport links in growing areas like Marys Mount and the Taralga Road area.
"Marys Mount needs a commercial CBD and at Run-O-Waters, they are putting in more houses but there aren't even two access ways. It's insane," he said.
On a smaller scale, Mr Shepherd wants to resurrect Goulburn's bulky waste pick-up, dumped in recent years due to OH&S and other concerns. He pointed out that many people did not have the means to take this material to the waste management centre.
While Goulburn awaits the aquatic centre's redevelopment, including its hydrotherapy pool, Mr Shepherd is urging the council to intervene and ensure the same facility continues at the Bourke Street Health Service in the interim. BSHS is transitioning services to the almost complete Goulburn Base Hospital upgrade but uncertainty surrounds its hydrotherapy pool.
"We need clarity because it's a big community asset...A lot of groups have contributed to it over the years and it should continue until we have the other one up and running," he said.
Regarding the current council's performance, Mr Shepherd believed it had been "hit and miss" and there should be fewer closed session talks in the interests of public transparency.
So far, Mayor Bob Kirk, Deputy Mayor Peter Walker and Crs Andrew Banfield, Greens member Leah Ferrara and Margaret O'Neill have re-nominated for Goulburn Mulwaree Council. New candidates include the Labor ticket, Steve Bray, Adam Milani, Matthew Henderson, Tim Dally, Steve Ruddell and Dan Strickland.
Nominations close at noon Wednesday, November 3 and the election will be held on December 4.
The Post will be profiling the candidates.
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