Angela Toppin announced in November 2019 that she was running as an independent for Mayor of the Mareeba Shire Council in the March elections, since that time she has been fielding questions about why she has chosen to stand as an independent rather than part of a team.
Her position, is not a commentary on, or reflection of the caliber, or motivation of the candidates for this current election. Her belief is based on years of communicating, negotiating, and working with different stakeholders, and interested invested parties, in the day to day operations of large organisations such as Cairns State High, the largest public high school in the north, and Mareeba State High School as an example of a diverse institution in our shire.
Angela, has been a councillor with the Mareeba Council for the past four years and is passionate about transparency, honesty, governance and ethical management. As an educational leader with 40+ years experience, Angela is skilled in negotiation, administration and liaising with various government stakeholders and delegations for the best outcomes for the region.
Angela says that her reasons for standing as an independent candidate for mayor in the March elections for Mareeba Shire is that the shire is a growing electorate, with a population of nearly 22,000, we have attracted people from all walks of life; people choose to live in the region for vastly different reasons, they have different goals and plans, the way they live, their life-styles, ideas on how things should be done and dreams for the future vary dramatically. We are by no means “a one size fits all” shire — it’s because of this diversity that it is important that our councillors and mayor represent the broad array, and grassroot beliefs and values of all of our residents.
Angela is mindful of when politicians stand as a team, there is a perception that those candidates agree, to an extent, to a “party” or “united” line or policy. she says, “occasionally the interests of our constituents get lost in the rationales of the team”.
The Mareeba-ite believes it is vital for the ongoing success, strength and growth of our community and the shire that all councillors feel able to accurately and adequately address and advocate for their residents without pressure or presumption that they should think or vote a particular way. As mayor Angela has said that she would love to work with a council and councillors elected by our residents, who, represent and are invested in our differences, our diversity and our strengths. Certainly this stance seems to be supported by local voters with over 3,000 hits, in the first 24 hours of her posting on Facebook, outlining her position on social media this week.