AFTER 30 years as a senior manager with Rockhampton City Council, gardening expert Tom Wyatt says he knows why the region isn't blooming.
Too much debt, too much bureaucracy, not enough pride and a planning department that has discouraged development, is his diagnosis.
And that's why the former parks and gardens director has decided to stand for the council he served with such distinction.
Tom will contest Division 2 and says he will campaign for simpler processes and a strong system of management under a committee system.
"The Stinger Rea controversy would not have happened if it had gone to the councillors before the bureaucrats made a decision.
"It's clear a lot of the people making decisions at City Hall don't respect the councillors let alone the ratepayers. That has to change."
He said the reason he was forced out of the job he loved was that he wouldn't conform to the bureaucratic changes introduced after amalgamation.
"There are too many tiers of management wasting time and money to reach decisions. We need simpler processes and that's what I will fight for.
"I'm an independent; a free agent who understands how it works. If I don't like something I will speak out. I was on the inside ... I know the questions to ask."
The debt the council had accrued in the last four years had a tremendous impact on fixed income ratepayers, he said. He will fight for lower water charges and an end to tiered pricing system.