As with any election there were winners and losers.
Bayswater City Council lost 4 sitting councillors, including Mayor Sylvan Albert who lost his South Ward spot to Maylands local and LACE Inc. Chair Catherine Ehrhardt, and popular City of Vincent Mayor (why don’t more Councils have a popularly elected Mayor?!) John Carey won a second Mayoral Term by a (duly deserved) landslide with 81.18% of the vote to lead what must surely be one of the most youthful and gender balanced team of Councillors serving in WA?!
Local City of Stirling residents, however, could be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t even an election. Joe Ferrante was re-elected to the Lawley Ward unopposed and David Lagan retained his Inglewood Ward spot with 67.8% of the 3,879 votes received – a voter turnout rate of only 20.4%.
Vincent, by contrast, had a total of 7 candidates running for 2 positions in the South Ward including incumbent John Pintabona who was beaten in the count by both Jimmy Murphy, Director of the Leederville and Mount Hawthorn Street Festivals and Susan Gontaszewski. Third, with a not too shabby 17.o7% of the votes, was Dudley Maier who was unsuccessful in his bid to return having left council several years ago. In the North Ward there were 5 candidates vying for 2 positions including Ros Harley, who was re-elected to her post, along with Mount Hawthorn resident Dan Loden. All four successful candidates had the public backing of Carey.
But it was the Bayswater election that produced the most changes and upsets.
Retired councillor Sally Palmer made a successful comeback to the Central Ward ousting incumbent Mike Sabatino who ran a distant third with a campaign that included the support of sitting Central Ward Councillor Chris Cornish who was also re-elected. In the Cities North Ward, where only 1 spot was up for grabs, newcomer Brent Fleeton nudged out Councillor Mike Anderton who had served on Council since 2007 by a margin of less than 2% whilst in the West Ward, another newcomer and Bayswater local Dan Bull toppled incumbent Martin Toledo for the sole role with 50.88% of the vote versus Toledo’s 20.21%. And then there was the race for the South Ward contested by only two candidates, incumbent Sylvan Albert and Catherine Ehrhardt, which over the course of the campaign seemed to attract a fair degree of local media attention. Ehrhardt, the driving force behind the Maylands Hawker’s Market and an active supporter of many local community initiatives emerged the clear winner with 59.97% of the value to Albert’s 40.03%, ending Albert’s 10 years of service on Council. There’s got to be some strong messages for the City of Bayswater and the Council from those changes.
Congratulations to all the successful candidates. Here’s hoping for transparent, sustainable, fiscally responsible but also creative and progressive local government that contributes to building better communities for all. Some ideas to shake up Stirling would be good too.
For all the 2015 Local Government Election results click here.