Time to be a Councillor

Recently I met a woman who told me that she intended nominating as a Councillor for Unley Park Ward, City of Unley - that's the Hyde Park and Millswood areas.
She displayed enthusiasm and had a passion for the local community.
After a brief chat, my assessment was that she would make a good Councillor.
Her success would boost the % of women on Council.
She asked about the commitment required and the number of hours per week.
My reply was along these lines ...

Some Councillors put in more effort than others. It's a personal commitment and dependent on work and family commitments. Some slow down after elected as the work load increases beyond that expected.
There are 12 Council meetings per year, one per month, on a Monday. They run for 2-5 hours.
There is usually 2-3 Special Council meetings a year.
Another 12 Council meetings are tentatively scheduled fortnightly, just in case the monthly agenda gets over loaded. Work on an extra 4-6 fortnightly (mid month) Council meetings.
There are Committee meetings every 1-3 months (@ 7pm for 2-3 hours).
Other Committee meetings (of which you aren't a member) should ideally be attended. Add another 6-8 meetings a year.
Then there are the confidential workshop briefings (usually on a Monday) held fortnightly (@ 7pm for 2-3 hours).
There are community advisory groups (eg. Unley Oval, Goodwood Oval, etc.) of which you will be a member. Add 4-6 nights a year.
There are various community events that you really should attend. Add 10-20 half days on the weekend.
There are community functions to which you get invited. Add 6-10 nights per year.
I could add to this list.
Now comes the big part. Being available to the local residents. Expect phone calls and emails every day. They expect you to respond ASAP. You need to liaise with the Council Administration to get answers and assist with resolving matters. You need to make house calls.
You will be rewarded with an allowance of ~ $15,000 per year. This is100% taxable so don't do it for the money.

After explaining this the woman was still interested.
She had researched the commitment required and had discussed it with her partner.
My private reflection was that she would make a good Councillor.
I gave her healthy encouragement.

For the record I have also been approached by potential Councillor candidates for Goodwood Ward and Parkside Ward and I have given similar accounts of the commitment required.

Council election disclaimer


  1. I am considering running in Unley Ward.
    Thanks for providing a summary of the effort required.
    It must be a huge hit on family life.

  2. I thought that with 2 Councillors per ward you took turns and the effort is halved.

    1. No, it doesn't work like that.
      At times it would have been nice, to relieve the pressure.
      Besides, at times you may have a differing opinion to your co-Councillor.

  3. What about holidays?
    Do Councillors get to take a break?

    1. We all need a break now and then.
      Some take more holidays than others.
      If you're not away on holiday, then you are expected to attend.

  4. If I can still take my yearly trip to Bali, then I might be interested.
    I suppose it could be considered a study tour.

    1. As long as you fund it yourself that's ok.
      Don't expect the ratepayers to pay for your hol in Bali.


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