Elec­tion of mayor stays with coun­cil

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS -

The mo­tion was even­tu­ally lost 5-4.

Cr Cay­oun pointed to­wards a ref­er­en­dum in the City of Stir­ling dur­ing Oc­to­ber’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, in which elec­tors voted to elect their mayor di­rectly.

She said Bel­mont was in the mi­nor­ity in terms of its pro­cesses and it should al­low res­i­dents to choose the leader.

Cr Ge­orge Sekula spoke in sup­port of the mo­tion and said it was not a re­flec­tion of for­mer may­ors or cur­rent mayor Phil Marks.

Crs Steve Wolff and Janet Pow­ell both spoke against the mo­tion, with the for­mer ar­gu­ing there was no ev­i­dence that a di­rectly elected mayor was bet­ter but it had the greater chance for “dys­func­tion”.

Pub­lic Health Ad­vo­cacy In­sti­tute di­rec­tor Melissa Stone­ham said she be­lieved pro­gres­sive lo­cal gov­ern­ments needed to con­sider hav­ing their may­ors elected by the pub­lic.

“I feel that they have a bet­ter man­date to re­spond to peo­ple,” she said.

“I be­lieve that hav­ing peo­ple elect­ing mem­bers is also more trans­par­ent be­cause the can­di­dates can talk about their poli­cies and plat­forms.”

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