Serge’s Column

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Dear St Kilda News readers,

 

After a two-month break doing other things, I am back in our favorite little paper, which means I am also back at the big white house at the corner of Carlisle Street and Brighton Road. As the newly re-elected Councillor for the Catani Ward, let me first thank very warmly the people of St Kilda and many readers of SKN for voting for me and giving me their trust: it is truly a great honor to have been re-elected to represent the people of our beautiful village. I would also like to thank all the people who helped me / us during the campaign. Without them, I could not do what I am doing.

Thank you also for re-electing me on primary vote. I was the only one in Port Phillip to have had that privilege and only one of three in Victoria. unChain, which I am part of, stood seven candidates – one in each ward. Well done to Cr Vanessa Huxley for being elected in Carlisle and Cr Jane Touzeau for her re-election in Point Ormond. Our group scored 36% of the votes through the city, which puts us ahead of CAPP / ALP (22%), the Liberal Party (19%) and the Greens (14%) – though in all fairness, they had fewer candidates. Interestingly, unChain has got three Councillors at the St Kilda / Elwood end of the City, with CAPP three Councillors in Port Melbourne / South Melbourne / Albert Park. The tale of two cities, with Andrew Bond as a member of the Liberal Party, in between…

I enjoy being a Councillor and doing things for our constituents. I enjoy talking to people, listening to their concerns and developing policies. And I certainly enjoy door knocking and meeting people I would never meet otherwise. Special mention to Frank and Shirley, close to Elwood canal! However, I can’t say that I enjoy some of the things one has to go through to become a Councillor. I know many people who would be great Councillors but they told me they are not interested in standing because they don’t want to face the dirty part of campaigning. I still cannot believe all the things I have been falsely accused of. It is upsetting, hurtful and totally unnecessary. And it did not work in the end. But now it is time to forget all that and get on with the business of making Port Phillip an even better place to live in.

I am looking forward to the next four years working with five new Councillors. So far, so good. There is a real sense of goodwill and collaboration between us and we will work well for the betterment and benefit of all our constituents.

As you might have heard, I was also given the privilege of becoming Deputy Mayor of the City of Port Phillip and I wish our new Mayor Amanda Stevens well in her position. I have really enjoyed the past 3 weeks working with Amanda. To finish, as I did in chamber on the day, I think it is fitting to use a quote from President Obama (who was re-elected on the same day). This quote is appropriate from where we are at the moment.

“The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.”

I wish you all Season’s Greetings, a happy summer break and a very Happy New Year!

Serge

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