No public vote for mayor
City leader to be determined by councillors
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.