IN JUST over eight months' time, the next group of nine councillors to represent the citizens of the City of Greater Bendigo will be chosen.
Four years ago, a record field of 32 candidates contested the City of Greater Bendigo councillor elections, a sign that says democracy is alive and well, regardless of whatever reasons why so many residents stood for election.
After a period of relative instability and some highly publicised and controversial situations, the present crop of councillors appear to have settled into their roles and worked as a team, but anyone wanting to tip them out has to pretty soon start thinking about how they hope to do so.
Serving on council is no different to serving at the state of federal level in that candidates firstly and elected representatives secondly will always come under scrutiny and criticism for what they say, and more importantly, for what they do.
But a healthy respect for the views and opinions of others is just that.
Our city continues to grow and provide a quality of life and a lifestyle that is immensely satisfying to the overwhelming majority of its residents.
There will always be room for improvement, just as there will always be those who think there are ways to do things better.
That's an essential part of the free society we are privileged to share.
It's also been said before how we get just one chance each four years to choose who should represent us at council.
That's why we urge anyone interested in contributing to helping shape our city at a local government level throughout the next four year tenure of councillors to start thinking seriously about how they can make a positive contribution to Bendigo.
There are several big ticket projects on the drawing board for Bendigo that will come to key deliberations in their progress or otherwise in the next few months, and there will always be the next generation of projects not far behind them.
And understanding how these opportunities will impact on Bendigo, both now and in the future, is as important now as it has ever been.