BORN and bred Mount Gambier resident Max Bruins will throw his hat in the ring to contest one of eight elected member positions on Mount Gambier City Council in November.
A financial planner who works across the South East, Mr Bruins is actively involved in the community as secretary of the Port MacDonnell Bayside Festival Committee, a member of the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Mount Gambier.
He returned to the Blue Lake city two years ago and his investment in the city’s future direction prompted him to run for a civic position.
“I am a born and bred Mount Gambier local and my parents – Herman and Heather Bruins – are also,” he said.
“I’m a Grant High School alumni and I have 16 years experience in the financial sector – I worked in Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney before making the decision to return home to Mount Gambier two years ago.
“After years living in capital cities, it is a fantastic place to live and work.
“It’s the best of both worlds – I love the fact you can take the dog for a run in the morning and be the only person on a trail, yet be just a five minute drive from work, family, friends and the heart of the city.
“There’s a thriving arts and social scene here – which is my favourite way to spend a weekend – and a very strong sense of community spirit.”
Mr Bruins said his work in the financial sector would place him in good stead if elected to council.
“I want to be a proactive councillor and I want to see the city grow and really hit its stride,” he said.
“If elected, I would be one of the youngest councillors and I feel I can bring an energy to the role, while working with other elected members as a voice for the community.
“My current work involves building community relationships, liaising with people from all backgrounds and helping them understand often complex issues, which I believe will give me a solid grounding for council duties.”
Mr Bruins said key issues he hoped to address if elected included improving existing community spaces and activating the city’s events/festival scene.
“I believe the revitalisation of Commercial Street is a key priority and I would like to work with the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce and come up with some creative solutions in this space,” he said.
“Openness, transparency and effective communication between council and the community will be on my agenda – regarding major projects such as the Mount Gambier Regional Sport and Recreation Centre, the community should feel as if their views are being heard.
“I would like to help streamline regulatory processes to make it easier for event organisers to use council spaces.
“I believe a thriving festival and events scene is key to the city’s tourism prospects and will help the city be seen as a destination, rather than a drive-through city.”