BAW Baw’s youngest councillor and Mayor, Adam Tyson, is leaving politics after seven years.
“The highlight firstly was getting elected in 2005, so that was great, I didn’t expect that.”
It’s farewell after two terms for Drouin ward councillor Adam Tyson, who joined the council at the age of 32 to become Baw Baw’s youngest councillor ever and, in 2010, youngest Mayor.
Cr Tyson is leaving for his career, and made his decision “pretty early on.”
“Obviously 2010 was a pretty big year as Mayor, and 2011 I went back to work and just being your standard councillor,” Cr Tyson told The Warragul Citizen.
“Through that (2011) year I started to step back a bit and focus on my work, because my career has been a little bit dented by my public office.
“Probably by the beginning of this year I was definitely sure I wasn’t going to be running.”
It was a leadership program which got the then-President of the Nilma Darnum Football Club interested in local government.
“I did the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, and that sort of whetted my appetite a bit for some more leadership.
“I’d been President of the football club for a few years and I thought I’d want to go a bit further with my leadership…. with council you deal with the whole community.
“I decided to run for council when I talked to the then-CEO and a few other people around me.
“It was just a shock to get elected because I didn’t think I would.”
Cr Tyson has mostly enjoyed is time on council, with early years and the year as Mayor being toughest.
“It’s been fantastic.
“The initial learning curve of getting on council and not really knowing what’s expected of you, and then getting up to speed and finding out how local government is… and what your role is as a councillor.
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“It was about 18 months until I really got up to speed with everything.”
“The Mayor year was hard, we had a few big issues with the pool and the offices and the like.
“We obviously had a councillor who resigned while I was Mayor and that was hard as well because there was quite a few heavy allegations laid toward me personally which history shows weren’t founded.
“But that was still hard though because the public persona and the stuff that goes into the media isn’t necessarily reality and you just have to deal with that.”
Cr Tyson said more needs to be done on council environmental projects.
“I’m very environmentally conscious, and while we’ve made good inroads into that I would’ve liked to have made more as far as our environmental practices as an organisation and as a shire.
“Tony Wolfe’s obviously a big one for that and the public lighting, and I think that’s huge and it’s a bit sad for me that he won’t be there to continue that fight.
“Unfortunately environmental initiatives are the first ones to fall when money becomes tight, so we obviously had to cut a few programs, which wasn’t ideal, but they’re the hard decisions you have to make.”
When asked what his advice is for new councillors, Cr Tyson said they must be open minded.
“It’s not as easy as it looks from the outside. We’ve done the best with what we’ve had and I hope we leave the place in a better way than we found it.
“The new councillors need to come in with an open mind and not necessarily with some of their predetermined ideas of how councils work and how the administration operates.
“Once they get on the inside and they get all the info that’s there to govern, they need to have an open mind and deal with that appropriately.”
It’s not completely the end of politics for Cr Tyson who isn’t ruling out a return, just not in the near future.
“You never say never.
“At this point in time it’s the right thing to do. Every time you deal with things, especially the harder issues where people come to you with real problems it takes a piece of you personally.
“And that’s fine, you can deal with that, but it does get to a point where you say look, this is starting to wear me down a little bit much with a full time job and a life to lead.”
Cr Tyson says residents of Baw Baw need to “step back” and take the time to enjoy the region.
“I just believe that people should take a step back and enjoy the place they live and not worry about the ins and outs of what goes on.
“We’re not that bad off, I understand there’s been a lot of rate rises… but they’re warranted as far as I’m concerned with the infrastructure gap that we have.
“I just think people need to take stock and just enjoy where we live and let the rest take care of itself.”
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