A significant amount of crossover has emerged between city and rural candidates in the first year of Wangaratta Council returning to wards.
A healthy 19 candidates were on the ballot when nominations closed on Tuesday.
East Wangaratta residents Greg Mirabella and Ruth Amery, who reside in north ward, and Julian Fidge, whose Docker home is in south ward, have all put their names down for election in the city.
On the other side, city resident Lauren McCully nominated for the north ward.
She said regardless of wards, councillors had to govern for the whole city.
“I don’t believe the ward system works because we have such different areas,” she said. “I grew up in the north ward and my parents still live there and I feel I can give the north the best representation on council.”
Julian Fidge was the only one of seven councillors sacked in 2013 to stand again for election.
But Mrs Amery, the wife of sacked councillor Noel Amery, did not let the controversy stand in her way.
She said she was not standing for any particular issues, just a more “cohesive council”.
“I thought I could offer diversity to the council, which seems to be very male-dominated,” Mrs Avery said.
Fifteen of the 19 candidates were male.
They included Wangaratta VFF president Greg Mirabella who confirmed the family name would attempt to return to politics following wife Sophie’s federal election run.
The council’s official submission to the Victorian Electoral Commission was to keep the previous arrangement, and not split into wards.
But the VEC went against its wishes and the recommendation was accepted by Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins.
“I agreed with the findings of the VEC in terms of the ward structure now in place in Wangaratta, as the report stated it will provide fair representation to the council's voters,” she said.
“Ultimately it is up to the people of Wangaratta to have their say on who will represent them and I look forward to a healthy debate.”