IN NOVEMBER 2011, Gerard O'Connell stood on top of Peppers Resort in Hervey Bay and announced he would stand for mayor.
An eight-year apprenticeship as a Maryborough and Fraser Coast councillor led Mr O'Connell to challenge sitting mayor Mick Kruger in the 2012 election.
He was convincingly victorious, attracting 58% of the region's vote.
But the honeymoon period ended quickly.
Cr O'Connell came under fire with the community accusing him of a lack of consultation, wasting ratepayer money and having poor leadership; leading to a fractured council.
He says highlights include developing a Fraser Coast Planning Scheme and beautifying the Esplanade.
Winning Hervey Bay but loosing severely in Maryborough divisions, Mr O'Connell was beaten at this election by Chris Loft.