Candidates hit the hustings early on Saturday, mounting corflutes and wooing voters as Goulburn Mulwaree went to the polls.
The 'democracy sausage' was in short supply but a buzz filled the air as people enjoyed the fine, sunny weather.
Nine spots are up for grabs, with six existing councillors vying for another term.
Wakefield Park's future, council waste clean-ups, development pressures and catering for a growing population were just some of the issues on people's minds.
Up at Goulburn High School, it was all bonhomie as candidates Dan Strickland, Michael Prevedello and Bob Kirk chatted.
Mr Prevedello said it had been a "hectic campaign" but he'd done everything possible to put himself forward. Son Joe, described by his father as a "political animal," had run his campaign.
"People have been talking to me about Wakefield Park (raceway) so it's a reasonably hot topic," he said.
"I support it fully but there are a lot of things to consider. At this stage of the election process people want solutions before the situations are presented but that happens in the council chamber."
Mr Strickland said Wakefield Park, waste collection pick-ups and water quality at Marulan were on voters' minds.
"People have been generally positive about me running," he said.
"We have to acknowledge the council has done a great job with some fantastic initiatives such as the aquatic centre and performing arts centre."
He believed the council needed a mix of new and existing faces and that representation was all about listening to people.
Meantime, another independent, TAFE horticulture teacher Tim Dally told The Post he'd surveyed many businesses about their interactions with the council.
"There was a mix of responses - good, bad and indifferent so the question is how do we bridge this gap and reach business. They're issues I'd like to take up whether I'm elected or not," he said.
Land zonings, the pace of development and its impact on housing and subdivision quality also rated highly among voters. But in rural areas, people appreciated the little things, like having their road graded annually, Mr Dally said.
Nearby, young Georgia Harmer was helping out grandfather and independent candidate Bob Kirk at the Goulburn High School booth.
Mr Kirk said he hadn't done a great deal of campaigning but had put several posts on his election Facebook page.
On Wakefield Park, he said people didn't necessarily understand all the issues.
"But nor should they because it is complicated," he said.
"It is not just one complaint about noise. I can remember residents raising this when Geoff Kettle was mayor."
He believed the Land and Environment Court process between the council and Wakefield Park would run its course, rather than the matter coming back to councillors. A hearing is scheduled for March.
Voters also chatted with candidates. Former Chatsbury man and now Goulburn resident, Noel James, wanted more rural representation.
"We don't want it to be all about the city," he said.
Andy Germolenko thought the council was doing a good job.
"They stuck up for the people of Tarago about the Veolia waste to energy and generally looking after the community's interests," he told The Post.
"But it's good to see a few fresh faces coming forward. I think it would be good to have some fresh eyes."
Peter Sinclair, visiting the Wesley Centre booth with wife, Di, was buoyed that Goulburn Mulwaree had "gone ahead" significantly in the past few years. He didn't have any major complaints.
At Goulburn Scout Hall booth, Goulburn man Paul Kelly said he didn't know too much about the candidates.
"I tend to be a small government person so I'll vote for the incumbents. I don't want any radical changes."
Cr Carol James said she'd done minimal campaigning.
"If you're active in the community, it speaks for itself," she said.
"To be on council you must be a team player, turn up, be respectful and listen to others. It's simple."
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Andy Wood was busy spruiking for votes at the Wesley Centre.
"I've had an interesting campaign between the weather and COVID," he said.
"I've been working on things that can go ahead."
Mr Wood is a member of a working party opposing Veolia's waste to energy facility. An already commenced petition will soon circulate at Goulburn and Tarago markets.
"The other big things people are raising with me are parking, footpaths and roads. There are also massive concerns with council red tape with building houses and other developments," he said.
"Goulburn has an appalling reputation for red tape with housing construction and attracting new business...The new council will need to deal with these processes."
Standing nearby, a Labor ticket of five, headed by Jason Shepherd, stood out in red.
"We're getting good feedback from conservative voters that they'll vote Labor for the first time," he said.
"They don't feel the existing council is hearing the community's concerns about Wakefield Park and that they're supporting them."
Earlier, Mr Kirk said this was not the case. The council approved the raceway's development application, with conditions designed to meet noise standards and strike a solution for residents.
Candidates have until 6pm Saturday to campaign but are barred under COVID rules from handing out pamphlets.
Counting would start straight after and some results should be known later Saturday night, returning officer Lars Gudiksen said.
Distribution of preferences could take several weeks. The poll will be officially declared on December 22.
The independent candidates in order of ballot draw are:
A Labor ticket is listed separately and comprises:
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