Council hopeful Ron Bertelsen has a lifetime of lived Geraldton experience under his belt and he is ready to plan for the future. He wants to make sure the City is changing for the better of everyone in it. The pending local government election for the City of Greater Geraldton has stirred a mixed bag of opinions on what needs to be improved in the city. Mr Bertelsen, who has stood for the council previously, believes Geraldton is one of the most livable locations in the State, and wants to support the development of surrounding suburbs. “We need to stop shaming our suburbs, and look at improving them,” he said. Currently working as a team leader in a community service organisation, Mr Bertelsen is keen to work collaboratively with council and staff to achieve collective goals. The issues at the forefront of Mr Bertelsen’s campaign centre on the housing crisis, population growth and tackling what he believes to be growing criminal activity. “We need to look at the increase of population and how to adequately plan for it in the current housing crisis, as well as the increased road use, facilities, climate change and activities to combat youth crime.” he said. The prospective councillor is determined to address crime holistically by building housing, engaging with families and providing facilities for young people to engage with. “Creating stability will help,” Mr Bertelsen said. He wants to clear up the misconceptions surrounding involvement with the local government, which he believes could be responsible for the lack of diversity on the council. “Others may think as they are not a politician, lawyer or businessperson, they lack the skills to be on council . . . a council should show people from all walks of life,” he said. Mr Bertelsen’s motivation to run for the council came from his love for the city and residents, but he wants to push for the best possible version of Geraldton. “I have seen it grow from an ugly duckling to a swan and it still has a long way to grow for its residents,” he said. There are four seats being contested in the local election, and Mr Bertelsen is one of 16 hopefuls on the ballot papers, which will be counted on October 21.