THE Greens are under fire for plans to run three endorsed candidates in the City of Greater Bendigo council election in October.
Former mayor and local Greens convenor David Jones revealed on Bendigo IPTv today the Greens would endorse one candidate in each of the three new wards.
Mr Jones said he would seek preselection to be one of those candidates.
The Greens faced criticism at the last council election in 2008 for a similar tactic, with none of the endorsed candidates winning a ward.
Current Sandhurst Ward councillor James Reade said there was no room for party politics in local government.
"I have major concerns if political parties are seeing local government as a vehicle to push their agendas," he said.
"I have big concerns about this.
"The new ward structure, with three councillors in three wards, makes it easier for people and interest groups to put candidates up and get them elected as well."
Epsom Ward councillor Lisa Ruffell, who is a member of the Liberal Party, also attacked the Greens' plan.
"It is one thing to be a member of a political party and run for council, but it is another for that party to preselect you or for you to be an endorsed candidate for them," she said.
"It is unfair for the other candidates who are competing against an organised and well-funded party machine.
"There is also the perception of mixed loyalties. Are you representing the community, or are you representing The Greens?
"This is why endorsed party political candidates are bad for local government and they are bad for Bendigo."
CONTROVERSIAL former City of Greater Bendigo mayor David Jones will run in the September City of Greater Bendigo council elections if he is preselected by the Greens.
As revealed at www.bendigoweekly.com.au yesterday, Mr Jones spoke today on Bendigo IPTv and confirmed he has sought preselection.
The Greens will endorse a candidate in each ward, and Mr Jones is hoping to be one of those. He will only run if endorsed.
Mr Jones was mayor for two years of the previous council term, and was one of five councillors thrown out at the 2008 election.
Despite being part of a council that approved the disastrous Hargreaves Mall redevelopment, Mr Jones later described the project as a "lemon" and a "disgrace".