Claims Indigo Shire Council has been too Beechworth-focused have prompted the formation of a community group.
'Community Agenda for North Indigo Shire' includes Herb Ellerbock, who has analysed council budgets from the past eight years.
"I'm a data-based analyst by profession ... it showed a picture that there was a disproportionate allocation to the Beechworth side of things," he said.
"Even though a lot of the source of capital works funding is from grants, it is reasonable to expect that the applications for those grants should be spread and not just constantly focused on a couple parts of the shire.
"Is Beechworth a tourist draw-card? Yes it is, but so is Rutherglen, and it could be a better one if it was better supported with capital expenditure."
According to Mr Ellerbock's analysis, 58 per cent of budgeted capital expenditure from grants was spent on Beechworth in 2017-2021 and 43 per cent of total budgeted capital works spend was in the gold rush town - compared to Rutherglen (9.8), Yackandandah (13.6) and Chiltern (15.3).
He has elevated a freedom of information request to council about rates to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.
Candidate Frank McLoughlin has drawn on the data in his campaigning and believed there was a widespread desire to have more of a focus on towns other than Beechworth and Yackandandah.
"Data takes the emotion out of it ... this is the scope and scale of the issue," he said.
"It's not good enough."
Fellow Rutherglen candidate and former councillor Roberta Horne pointed to the fact the majority of the 19 candidates were from Beechworth.
"I think it's extremely important there is a coverage of candidates from across the shire - when you live in an area, you do know it and you do understand it," she said.
The CANIS group has outlined its preferred candidates and took issue with a recent social media post by mayor Jenny O'Connor in which she said there were no Rutherglen candidates she could recommend to voters.
Cr O'Connor declined to comment on the post, which was not a preference list but indicated 'who would make the most skilled and balanced team'.
Northern towns in the shire have been represented by councillors Sophie Price and Diane Shepheard, who are both running again.
Candidate Sue Gold said where a candidate lived did not determine how well they could perform the role.
"Where you geographically live is not the point, it's your ability to think strategically, see connections, engage with people to understand what is being said and take that back to the council table," she said.
"There's a lot of strength across the region ... certainly, if I'm elected I'd be looking to ensure capital expenditure is made where it's needed."
Ms Gold said there was an opportunity for council to provide a simplified way of presenting budget information and "aligning that with the plan or the projects that are being delivered".
Cr Larry Goldsworthy said a lot of budget expenditure was need-to-have, such as the Lake Sambell dam wall replacement, and budget papers were complex.
"Capital works allocations are done on a strategic needs-basis and grant funding availability," he said.
"Budget figures alter from year to year and might be carried over from previous years, or works are included from the previous year that might be grant-funding-dependent and don't actually occur.
"I think it's an unfair or unbalanced view to rely on the figures that are being represented [by CANIS]."