BENDIGONIANS are divided about whether or not to have a directly-elected mayor.
With Geelong residents electing their leading citizen for the first time this year, Bendigo is the largest city in Australia not to have a directly-elected mayor.
A Bendigo Weekly online survey, run since April, has revealed the issue is splitting the city.
More than 52 per cent of survey respondents are against the idea, and slightly less than 48 per cent are for it.
The issue also split the candidates at this week’s Bendigo IPTv election forum.
Current Greater Bendigo mayor Alec Sandner was unequivocally against it.
He said it could turn into a popularity contest for unqualified candidates.
“In Geelong, if Cameron Ling stood for mayor he would win,” he said.
Former mayor Rod Campbell and candidates Mark Weragoda and Helen Leach said Bendigo should wait to see how it played in Geelong.
“Personally I have some reservations,” Cr Campbell said.
Heathcote-based Eppalock Ward candidate Wayne McKay was all for the move.
“I believe the mayor should be elected by the people,” he said.“The people elect the council and they should have a say to elect the