Farewell to Tony Brun

If there's something wrong with your city or something in it you don't like, you could blame the thousands of people who fail to bother to even vote when it comes time to choose a local councillor.

You could blame those elected councillors, who actually work pretty tirelessly to make decisions for the future of the city yet receive just a paltry few thousand dollars that barely covers their stationary costs let alone their time.

You could blame all the people who may have something valuable to contribute but never even attend a local council meeting.

You could blame vested interest groups who over many decades have established themselves as major land holders and gatekeepers to the future of Geraldton.

Or you could just blame the CEO, the man entrusted with the job of carrying out the Council's will, ergo- our will.

In the five years Tony Brun has been at the helm of the city, Geraldton has certainly seen some change. We've weathered the Global Financial Crisis, seen the completion of much of the foreshore development, had two council mergers, implemented funding strategies that will see assets owned by the City of Greater Geraldton actually be maintained, and much more. 

The decisions that have been made have not always been an easy sell. The council that ultimately makes the decisions relied many a time on Tony's understanding of how the intricacies of local government law actually worked.

Stories float around about Tony Brun's ability to win the public over, at least those who had the opportunity to meet him. They would fire questions at Mr Brun at a community consultation event only to be won over by his clarity of thought, expertise in many fields and ability to clearly articulate the rationale behind decisions and suggestions. 

Mayor Ian Carpenter, in his closing remarks of Tuesday night's meeting, the final Mr Brun would attend, said that Tony was "a great bloke". There was nothing but a strong sense of authenticity in the Mayor's words, and it seemed clear that everything Mr Brun contributed over the years was valued and appreciated.