Sunday, October 26, 2008

Would I were king: a town of talking statues -

BOB "King" Crawford is the latest, somewhat unconventional, lord mayor aspirant. In the 1970s, he pioneered free entertainment in Melbourne's public parks. Today he promises the people of Melbourne not one, but two monorails.

Thrilling idea, of course. Possible? Probably not. And that pretty much can be said about many promises made by Mr Crawford and his more earnest competitors in the 2008 race to lead the City of Melbourne. The lord mayor's role has profile, but little power after successive state governments trimmed the council's planning responsibilities and dictated how elections are run, through the City of Melbourne Act.

But the lord mayor is not a total power vacuum. He or she can drive policies on rates, parking, clean streets, bike paths, some roads, city marketing and child care. They also get to wear the possum-skin cloak and mayoral bling. But some of the city's biggest issues - public transport, late-night street safety, sustainability and traffic congestion - cannot be solved from Town Hall alone.

This is why in some candidates' policies you will find the words "State Government" preceded by words like "urge", "encourage", "insist", "in partnership with" and "lobby". But others believe they can and will deliver major state achievements single-handedly...

Read the rest of the article at , and learn more about some (but not many) of the policies of the candidates.

Hmm... will Melbourne be the next Brockway, Ogdenville or North Havenbrook?

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