Former Navy Captain and Howlong resident David Horton has nominated as an independent in the upcoming Federation Council election and has voiced his concern over the ticket concept.
Mr Horton told the Free Press he does not believe that candidates running on a ticket provide the best outcome for proportional representation at the ‘grass roots’ level of local government.
“During this campaign, I will be encouraging people to take the time and carefully consider the names below the line and identify who they are actually voting for,” he said.
“As such, if elected I will advocate for the introduction of wards in future elections.”
Mr Horton served 35 years in the Royal Australian Navy, having risen through the ranks from seaman to the rank of captain with command and senior management experience in the Australian Defence Force.
His commitment to his work saw him awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for devotion to duty and outstanding achievement in the Australia Day Honours List in 1993.
On leaving the Royal Australian Navy, he returned to the Northern Territory at the request of the government and worked for the NT Public Service, firstly as the Official Secretary to the NT Administrator, followed by 12 years in the NT Legislative Assembly as the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees.
Mr Horton and his wife Lorraine have been a part of the Howlong community since moving to the town four years ago.
“I have maintained an active participation in the community as Howlong RSL Sub Branch President and Member of the Howlong Community Committee since its inception in 2016,” he said.
“I am not considered a retiree and I believe my background and energy to achieve outcomes and experience fits well to be a representative of the Federation Council.
“I am a people person with strong leadership, management and negotiation skills that will be put to good use on the council if I am elected.”
Mr Horton believes there needs to be a blueprint for the future (five to ten years).
“This vision would be developed on the base of where we are now, along with the expectations and aspirations of the people,” he said.
“This I believe will set the agenda and determine the objectives for future planning and development – essentially this should be the vision for the community, of what we need to be to maintain and progress the lifestyle we all currently enjoy.
“This cannot be achieved without the input and active participation from all sections of the community.”
Mr Horton believes the main role of council is specific in providing, maintaining and sustaining infrastructure, essential services and public amenities.
“However, this requires careful asset management, through life maintenance planning and timely replacement programs,” he said.
“This process will always face competing priorities to match often limited resources across Federation Council and requires a strong voice at the table to ensure that equity and fairness is achieved.
“I believe I can offer that voice with your support and input and together we can move forward in preserving what we have and making the necessary improvements over time with sound planning and achieving satisfactory outcomes for all.
“It will not happen overnight, but it will happen and in this respect I believe we should always remain positive in meeting the requirements and expectations of our communities.”