THERE must be something about the name Geoff that appeals to voters judging by election results which returned two of the state’s oldest councillors to serve another four-year term.
Geoff Smith, aged 78, of Derrinallum and Geoff White, 77, of Portland have already served a combined total of 43 years on local government.
Yet they are not about to hang up the boots anytime soon and join other retirees in the slow lane.
Both told The Standard yesterday they still enjoyed their busy schedules which kept them physically and mentally fit.
Cr White, who topped the Glenelg Shire votes table with 16.6 per cent of the tally, is even keen to take on his fifth stint as mayor if colleagues want him in the main chair again.
Corangamite Shire’s Cr Smith, who was unopposed for the north ward seat, could be the state’s longest-serving councillor having started his career in 1982 with the former Hampden shire before amalgamations.
He was president of Hampden shire for two years, has held the Corangamite mayoral role several times and rarely faced an opponent in elections.
However, he said he would decline another leadership stint, preferring to give others a go.
“Being a councillor is a 24-hour job,” he said.
“I represent all the north ward which is over a third of all the shire and covers the towns of Skipton, Derrinallum, Lismore and Darlington.
“It involves travelling hundreds of kilometres a week on council duties.
“I’m the only Corangamite councillor living north of the highway and I believe it is important to respond to people’s issues promptly.”
When he’s not attending meetings or visiting constituents he’s out running his grazing farm on his own. He took a few minutes away from driving the tractor yesterday to speak to The Standard.
Cr White reckoned he spent 15 to 20 hours a week on council business and 50 hours a week when mayor.
“Glenelg is a big shire going from the ocean north to Casterton and from Tyrendarra west to the South Australian border,” he said.
“I decided after retiring from work in 1992 that there was more to life than playing golf and going to the races so I decided to give local government a go.
“Life’s much better being active and alert — it’s good for your health.
“It’s been a team effort in our household with my wife Aileen just as keen on local government affairs.”
Cr White came from a background as industrial relations officer with the Port of Portland having worked there for almost five decades.
He is also on the Regional Development Australia committee for Barwon-South West.