Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Please Don't Name a Carpark after Me: Jenny Dowell

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Please Don't Name a Carpark after Me: Jenny Dowell

Article excerpt

Byline: Hamish Broome Hamish.Broome@northernstar.com.au

SOON to be former Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell has declared she will go "cold turkey" on social media after stepping down in September following eight high-profile years on the job.

Cr Dowell also joked that she had no desire to have a carpark named after her - as some former mayors have - half-joking that she could think of "nothing worse" than being remembered by a "piece of asphalt".

Having led the charge by local councillors into the often fickle world of Facebook the mayor has amassed a huge following with her friends list hitting the Facebook maximum of 5000.

But this will come to an end in September, when post-election Cr Dowell will suspend her account.

She said she didn't want to become one of the "ghosts of mayors past".

"I won't be doing it... it's not fair to the council to have people coming to me as a conduit to council," Cr Dowell said.

"My husband says I'll find that almost impossible, because I sit at night watching television with my iPad and my iPhone both going at the same time answering questions," she laughed.

One of the reasons why Cr Dowell launched herself into social media in the first place was as part of her goal to build a closer knit community in Lismore.

She said she now received hundreds of messages each day.

"I've made it my goal to communicate what council's doing, to communicate the good things that are happening here.

"If I've gone part way to making some people feel they have a voice, and they've got a strong sense of belonging here, then I'll be very pleased with the legacy I'll be leaving.

Asked about the other highlights of her time in office, Cr Dowell named an improved relationship with Aboriginal culture and heritage as a key achievement of the council.

"We're one of only 50 councils in the whole of the country that have a reconciliation action plan and we're considered to be one of the leaders," she said. …

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