IN a shock decision, Cr Mick Van de Vreede will not seek re-election to Knox Council.
He was not among the nominations for the nine wards in Knox, which closed last week with a late rush of nominees who will contest the October 27 election.
Cr Van de Vreede was elected unopposed to Tirhatuan Ward in the 2008 elections and has been a councillor since 2003. He has been a long-time advocate for affordable housing and better public transport in Knox, as well as speaking out on environmental issues.
He previously told the Weekly he would recontest the ward. But speaking last week while on annual leave, Cr Van de Vreede said he had instead decided it was time to "hang up the boots" and spend more time with his family.
"I want to focus on other things now. I've learnt a lot and it's been great character building."
New faces Nicole Seymour, Phillip Kelly and Glenda Frost will now vie to fill the the single vacancy in Tirhatuan. In another interesting development, former Baird Ward councillor Peter Cole will now stand for Scott Ward, currently held by Cr David Cooper, who has recontested for the same ward along with newcomer Dwayne Lawless.
It's a two-horse race in Taylor Ward with youth advocate Anthony Osborne taking on sitting councillor Darren Pearce. There have often been heated exchanges between the pair during public question time at council meetings.
Friberg Ward — which takes in Knoxfield and Upper Ferntree Gully — has the biggest field of nominees with five candidates taking on incumbent Andrew Walter. Tony Holland, Blair Darragh, Lisa Cooper, Tony Richardson and Deborah Rogers will all run.
Cr Sue McMillan has decided not to recontest Dobson Ward, which has attracted three nominees — former mayor and long-time councillor Karin Orpen, David Mutch, who has been heavily involved in the Save the Glenfern green wedge campaign, and Gabrielle Verstraete.
There has been plenty of controversy in the Boronia-centric Baird Ward with development and the implementation of the Boronia Structure Plan stirring debate.
Anthony Searle of Appropriate Development for Boronia will stand, as will Dean Cottier, Garrie James, Bernhard Hoefer and Peter Lockwood.
Sitting councillor John Mortimore will be up against Mark Harbert in Chandler Ward.
Residents living in Dinsdale and Collier wards will not be required to vote — mayor Adam Gill and Cr Joe Cossari will be re-elected unopposed.
WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR?
The Weekly is here to ask the tough questions to help you decide. Stay with this website to see ward snapshots, candidate profiles and questions and answers with nominees.
COUNCIL ELECTION COMMENTS
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