The number one ranked batsman in the world, Stephen Smith, scored his first Test double century four days ago in the second Ashes Test. I will never experience the pleasure of a Test double-century but I am hugely satisfied with this being my two hundredth Mayoral Column.

I was elected as the thirty eighth Mayor of Dubbo on 8 September 2011. One of my main objectives was to improve levels of communication – both within Council and from Council to the wider community.

When I look back at some of the data from my 1,413 days in the job, I am proud of the levels of communication I have been able to achieve. Don’t take my word for it though – I will let the statistics speak for themselves.

When I became Mayor, I argued that we needed a presence on social media – specifically Facebook and Twitter. After a few months I had both set up – and I have recently added Instagram – all under the MayorOfDubbo name (ready to hand on to the next Mayor) and I have now posted 3,200 Tweets to the 1,177 followers with approximately 3,400 posts to the 1,434 people who have ‘Liked’ the Facebook Page. The most popular post was the short video of the testing of the Barden Park lights with 21,336 people reached; 8,113 video views and 876 Likes/Comments/Shares. The second most popular post was the recent announcement that we will be hosting the National Indoor Cricket Junior Championships which reached 12,312 people and had 362 Likes/Comments/Shares. E-mail seems to be the staple form of communication and in my time as Mayor, I have sent 52,677 e-mails and received 36,071. The good old-fashioned telephone is still used by many – and I am no different. I have made 16,010 calls and received 5,407 calls – and that is just on my mobile.

Physical meetings with members of the public; fellow Councillors and politicians; official duties at functions; internal meetings with staff and media interviews number close to 3,000.

Add to all of that the 306 articles I have written with a total word count of over 175,000 words and you start to gain some insight into the bigger picture.

Breaking it down to a daily basis and assuming most of the work is Monday to Friday, the daily stats are frightening. Breaking down the information above, it equates to a daily average of: 173 words written for articles; 52 e-mails sent; 36 e-mails received; 16 phone calls made; 5 calls received and 3 posts on both Facebook and Twitter along with 3 physical meetings. Once you add in the quarterly Mayoral Developers Forums and the triannual Community Leaders’ Breakfasts and the 286 residents who are new citizens of Australia, you gain some understanding of the level of commitment required for this role.

Of course I would not be committed to this workload if I didn’t have a champion team of Councillors and Council staff who are engaged and are constantly pushing for the best outcomes for this city. My job is simply to be the proud and current custodian of this position and leave Dubbo in a better place as a result of my time in this position.

Clr Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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