As an event organiser for a local charity, Michael Small is no stranger to helping those in need and he sees a spot on council as a way to bring this support to the next level.
The dedicated family man is one of the five candidates on the Community First ticket for the December 4 election, led by current deputy mayor Dallas Tout.
Having grown up in Booroowa, the 44-year-old moved to Wagga about 30 years ago and has called the city home ever since.
Since graduating from Kooringal High School, Mr Small has been ingrained in the local community through his work with Country Hope and other local charity campaigns such as Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish and Wagga Wagga Takes 2.
The proud husband and father of four children is running to help provide a voice to smaller Riverina towns around Wagga as well as community groups in the city that struggle to have their problems recognised.
"I've been involved with the smaller communities and involved with minority groups around the area and the biggest thing always to them is they've got problems no one ever hears about," Mr Small said.
"So that's a big thing for me, to put my hand up and try my best to get on council so that I can give them that voice they desire."
Developing a stable and clearly defined plan for the future of the city is also high on the candidate's list of priorities.
"There's a lot of talk about the past and there's a lot of talk about the present but there never seems to be enough discussion about the future and having a plan for the future of the city," he said.
"I think we need to focus on how we want Wagga to grow and what we're going to do to achieve that."
Mr Small described himself as someone who is not easily influenced and who makes his decisions carefully based on the available information.
He also said he was a listener at heart and someone who would always be willing to hear out members of the community on their problems and concerns.
"I say all the time you've got two ears and one mouth for a reason and I think that's extremely important," he added.
"I like to listen to people and hear them out and then try and make my decisions on what I take in from that.
"That's the most important thing we need on council - people who are willing to listen to others and try and help them out wherever they can."
Mr Small said running for council was the logical next step to build on the work he has done across the community.
"I was thinking about how I could take the stuff I have done further and I think the only thing I can do to do more is to have a go at running for council," he said.
In the lead up to this year's election, The Daily Advertiser has profiled the candidates looking to secure a spot on Wagga City Council.
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