There is A LOT to take in in the first 6-9 months of council – while learning the ropes, passing the first budget, and four year council plan you are making decisions which affect people’s lives both now and in the long term.
I’ve found that by articulating why I believe my position is in the best interests of the whole council long term, treating each decision as independent from the next and other people with respect even when we disagree, earns wider respect in the community.
In coming to a position, in addition to council briefings, and as part of my own research I seek out anybody who might be impacted by a decision even if council hasn’t identified them. Sometimes they might not even be aware of an item before council. It doesn’t mean I will vote in their favour necessarily, but it does mean I’ve taken as many perspectives into account as I can and weighed up the long term result of a decision. There will always be people benefitting and adversely impacted by council decisions.
In addition to getting yourself a mentor, study: