Geraldton’s “man of steel” gears up for a fresh tilt at local government
Just 10 months after surviving a plane crash and going through countless hours of rehab, Geraldton’s “man of steel” has set his sights on a new challenge.
Former air force engineer Mike Reymond has thrown his hat in the ring for the City of Greater Geraldton council elections, less than a year after the plane crash 20km east of Lancelin.
Mr Reymond’s left leg was partially severed and his wrist fractured in the December accident, but he remarkably walked out of Fiona Stanley Hospital six weeks later after extensive plastic surgery and orthopaedic work.
Reacting to the crash, Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn labelled Mr Reymond “Superman”.
Apart from still having to wear a moon boot on his left foot, Mr Reymond said rehabilitation was going well.
“The hardest thing is my wife has had to take a bit of a step up mowing the lawns and minor maintenance I can’t do as actively,” he said.
Some might have taken a bit more recovery time before running for local government, but Mr Reymond told the Geraldton Guardian he was more motivated than ever to serve the local community.
“It’s in my DNA,” he said.
“I just love public service and helping the city.
“I’m involved in the community in a lot of other areas.
“It’s a natural extension.”
Mr Reymond volunteers as a trustee on the board of the Geraldton Cemetery, is the treasurer of Spokes Cycle Club, a member of the Geraldton Regional Art Management Committee, and helps mentor local navy cadets.
The Geraldton grandfather is no stranger to local government, having served as a Geraldton councillor from 2015-2019.
In retirement, Mr Reymond said he had more time to give the role the attention it deserved.
“I’m all fired up and keen,” he said.
“Some people say ‘why don’t you just retire and look after your stamp collection or something?.’
“But no, that’s not for me.
“I want to share all the knowledge and experience I have and make Geraldton a better place.
“I actually read everything they give you. It is an enormous task, some people don’t realise that.
“I pride myself on detailed analysis of all the issues.”
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Supporting waste diversion and promising to review tip charges and kerbside pickup, Mr Reymond said waste management was a major issue. “Geraldton has to change its infrastructure and embrace FOGO (food organics, garden organics),” he said.
“People don’t realise that a hole to put your rubbish in costs millions to build. They don’t take long to fill up, either.
“Green waste management is so important because nearly half the stuff that goes in the tip is lawn cuttings.”
If re-elected, Mr Reymond said he would advocate for lower rates by reducing budgetary costs and improving efficiencies.
With 36.4 per cent of City of Greater Geraldton residents voting in the 2019 local government elections, Mr Reymond urged more people to cast their ballots this time around.
All eligible electors should receive a postal voting package two to three weeks before the October 16 poll. Otherwise, people can attend a polling place on the day of the election.
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