We have four worthy candidates in the coming election for Mayor but I believe by far the best man for the job already has it - Ian Carpenter.
Before I state my reasons, for those who don't know, I am a Councillor, elected in 2013.
Being Mayor is a demanding full-time role and we are fortunate to have a full time Mayor who has the experience to deal with the vast number of complexities that go hand in hand with Federal, State and local legislation and regulations.
We have a population headed for 50,000 and for all our problems, and we all know there are problems, the City of Geraldton-Greenough is a dynamic regional centre and with continued good management, will remain so.
Ian is devoted to Geraldton and works very hard for this city. He is not running for personal glory or any ambition beyond what is good for our community. The many people who know Ian understand this aspect of his character regardless of what else they think of him.
He has a great knowledge, which for myself and other new Councillors is a resource we are grateful for, and over the years has built and nourished important contacts in Perth and Canberra - in other words with people and agencies that control funding. The value of that is considerable.
He is also, in my view, an excellent leader. He listens but is strong willed and once a decision is made, even if he does not agree with it, like a true leader he supports the majority.
In addition, he and CEO Ken Diehm form a very efficient team. This is crucial. The roles of staff and Council are very different and both must perform their duties without undue interference from the other.
Of course there are checks and balances, but a well run Council is one where Councillors, acting in part on advice from senior staff, make decisions, and senior staff, with guidance from the CEO, implement them.
Ian has been Mayor since 2007, a long time, but change for change's sake is never good policy. For all our problems - underperforming Federal and State economies and related funding cutbacks, social issues, a flatlining real estate market and difficult business environment, we're actually not doing as badly as some think.
The CEO has initiated a realistic and achievable Long Term Financial Plan, the Foreshore redevelopment is reaping benefits and Geraldton-Greenough has not been forgotten by big business which is of course cautious in the current economic climate but still interested in investing in Geraldton.
One final point. I have heard comments that Ian is too old.
He is too old to play on a half-back flank in the GNFL but Mayors aren't expected to do that - they are expected to lead and work for a Community as Ian does. His brain is ticking along just fine and he's no fuddy duddy. In truth he embraces the future - our future.
On election day, I get one vote like everyone else over 18. As noted above, all the candidates are worthy but I strongly contend Ian Carpenter is the best of them.