No public vote for mayor

City leader to be de­ter­mined by coun­cil­lors

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - Ben Smith

THE City of Gos­nells has em­phat­i­cally reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to coun­cil­lors choos­ing its mayor.

Coun­cil­lors re­jected a mo­tion for chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Cowie to pre­pare a re­port into the ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of both a coun­cil-elected and pop­u­larly-elected mayor.

While Gos­nells coun­cil­lors cur­rently vote for a mayor ev­ery two years, the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act also pro­vides for the elec­tion of may­ors by the com­mu­nity.

Gos­nells Mayor Glenn De­whurst had pro­posed the mo­tion fol­low­ing com­mu­nity feed­back, but coun­cil­lors be­lieved the re­port was un­nec­es­sary and voted against the mo­tion 10-1.

Cr Ron Mitchell said a sim­i­lar re­port was pre­pared two years ago and noth­ing had changed since, so he did not want to waste the chief ex­ec­u­tive’s time.

Cr David Goode said the coun­cil was per­fectly able to judge who would be the best fit for mayor. He ar­gued a pop­u­lar fig­ure in the com­mu­nity could fea­si­bly be elected mayor by the peo­ple de­spite hav­ing lit­tle knowl­edge of lo­cal govern­ment pol­icy.

Mr Cowie warned coun­cil that if they were to change the method of elect­ing the mayor, it was far eas­ier to hand the power to the peo­ple than it was to change back.

He noted any coun­cil wish­ing to change the method from pop­u­lar vote to coun­cil vote would re­quire a public ref­er­en­dum, with the out­come de­cided by the ma­jor­ity.

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