Local government politics is rarely interesting, and before we came across Charles Strunk, the only things mildly interesting were people like Paul Pisale or Tom Tate.
We admit that we found Charles Strunk interesting at first because he had a great sounding name. Strunk just sounded like a strong surname. One given with the fist pump or hardy handshake.
It sounded like a name you could trust. A name that sounded like action would be taken and decisions made.
When he decided to run for the local Council elections in 2016, that name became more visible.
He was ever-present across the Forest Lake ward in the long campaign to replace Federal bound predecessor Milton Dick, and was always available to the people. It would seem that an even in Forest Lake would not be complete without Charles Strunk. A bit like Paul Pisale in Ipswich but minus the TV cameras.
Charles Strunk had a long history of giving too in the community. Lions, Graffiti Busters, adviser to the Palaszczuk dynasty in Inala for 15 years. Even though he is American by birth, you can’t claim his heart isn’t in the community.
The community thought so too, and Charles Strunk was elected to Forest Lake ward with 55% of the vote.
But it is after he is elected, and you actually start looking for his name when you realise what these local Councillors get up to. And for once the local newspaper is not set for immediate redistribution to the recycling bin and is useful for more than cleaning the BBQ.
Every week you can be guaranteed that Charles Strunk is up to something. Be it getting dog park opened, or giving out sewing machines, Meal on Wheels functions and speaking to the kids down at the local skate park. Very few could go from the street to high end business like Charles Strunk.
And who better to stand up to SBS’s Struggle Street “documentary” filming in Inala on breakfast news TV than Charles Strunk.
Even a run around the lake on a Saturday afternoon will see you come across the local Councillor. Up to something good.
And you can guaranteed if there’s a big event, he’ll be there.
He’s become a cult figure around The Gurgler office, mostly for being a man of the people.
Why not catch up with his Council website.
But it’s not all about Charles Strunk, we throw open the challenge to every person to see what their local Councillor actually does. You may be surprised that they are some of the rare public servants who earn their pay.
At the same time, it is all about Charles Strunk, and we nominate him as our second Person of the Year candidate.