People have often asked me why I would want to do this job and why would I put my hand up to do it again?
Am I a narcissist?
Someone who is so vain and selfish, so self-involved that the attention the job provides, feeds my ego, my drive to be noticed?
I would like to think not.
In fact, it’s interesting to note that I once took a personality test and it said I was an introvert. It was pretty funny at the time because all the introverts in the room did not think I should be joining them and all the extroverts were telling me I had read the results wrong. My test was revisited and the results confirmed. It was how I perceived myself, not how others saw me.
As the 4th daughter in a family of 6 sisters, I suppose I have developed some mannerisms to get people to notice me, but I’m not sure that it comes from self-involvement more from the common human condition of wanting to be noticed.
The position of Lord Mayor
It is undoubted that the position of Lord Mayor brings upon the occupier a certain amount of attention but I have to say it’s not always positive.
It can be quite challenging to realise that some people really want to criticise and dislike you.
Being in the public eye is a big responsibility to act appropriately at all times. Or to channel my mother, mind your Ps and Qs.
In recent times the word “politician” has become synonymous with party politics and a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favour or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
For many “politician” is a dirty word and the ultimate insult to be hurled at me, a holder of public office.
Let’s break it down
Firstly party politics. I am not and have never belonged to any political party. I have voted for all the different mainstream parties at one time or another, much to the distress of my friends and family who might hold strong political views one way or the other.
I am strongly independent and believe that there is no room for party politics in Council, there is plenty of opportunity for that in the other levels of Government.
As for compromising my principles to win favour or retain power, I’m not sure I have or could. My principles are based around the notion of fairness, honesty and integrity.
I am lucky because these principles haven’t had to be tested in this job.
However, if I was ever asked to compromise my integrity to retain the position, then my answer would have to be, the position, great though it is, is not worth it.
I live in this community. When I am no longer Lord Mayor, I will still have to get up every morning and look myself in the mirror and be happy with who I am, so to compromise my principles, would be a cost too high.
Back to the original question then, why put yourself forward to do the job?
I like to call myself a Civic Leader. I believe that in our civil life, we need people to lead and to provide an example. I want to live in a community that is respectful, that is connected, that is joyful, that offers healthy choices and that grows and blossoms in this 21st Century.
I believe that you cannot just sit and wait for someone else to do it. You need to participate and to contribute to your community. This is my way of contributing to our community.