Former mayor might return

FORMER Wodonga mayor John Watson is contemplating a return to local government eight years after he departed.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Watson left Wodonga Council in 2004 when he bought Hungry Jack’s franchises in Albury, Lavington and Wagga.

He was part of the first council elected after the commissioners era in 1997 along with Les Boyes, Bill Buckpitt, Graham Crapp and Ray O’Toole.

Mr Watson said he would declare his hand before the September 25 nomination deadline.

“I am considering it,” he said.

“The council should be still like a board of directors who go in and do the strategic planning.

“I think councils are a bit out of touch with the people. We need to be available to the people and put every issue up.”

The only surviving member of the current Wodonga Council to have worked alongside Mr Watson is Cr Lisa Mahood, who was mayor when he resigned.

He was mayor when the One City debate was ignited and he remained a strong believer in Albury and Wodonga sharing resources.

“The frustration is people are not talking cross-border any more,” he said.

“We do it with sport, we play football and other sports on both sides of the river. But when it comes to local government and other things nothing happens.

“If I went back in I really would want to be hands on.

“Being a people person is important, you’ve got to listen to everyone’s point of view.”

Mr Watson has sold his Hungry Jack’s franchises and now works as a training consultant for The Personnel Group.

He has one son, Dugald, still attending high school, with other sons Digby on a gap year in Vanuatu and George studying veterinary science at Wagga.

He and his wife Christine recently moved off the family property, de Kerilleau.

Mr Watson’s departure from the council caused a by-election and it was taken out by John Mahony.

John Watson is considering a return to local government.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.