ELECTION CHANGE WORTH STUDYING
LOCAL government reform used to allude to amalgamations but now those three words are more relevant to local government elections. Over the past few weeks, mayors and ousted councillors have flagged changing dates and mayoral election processes. These changes need to be investigated. A change of date is worth a try. Anything to get the community more engaged with the elected members who represent them is worth trialling. The recent elections failed to provide a clear advantage or disadvantage between ratepayer elected mayors and those chosen by councillors. In the City of Stirling, incumbent Mayor Giovanni Italiano had two campaigns on his hands; one to get re-elected to council and another to gain the support of his colleagues in a mayoral vote. At Bayswater, Sylvan Albert lost that first battle. But in the Town of Cambridge, ratepayers overwhelmingly supported new mayoral candidate Keri Shannon over incumbent Simon Withers. Whatever the better process, it should be uniform across the state.
Denise S. Cahill - editor