New Rattling Of Mayoral ChainsTheir political views are different, but Cr Scott Nash and Cr John Wakefield will both be faced with the task of keeping the ratepayers happy.
Liberal councillor Nash has taken over the reins from Greens councillor Murray Matson as the new mayor of Randwick, while Labor’s John Wakefield will don the mayoral robes at Waverley, replacing Liberal’s Sally Betts.
Cr Betts was in the chair for three years following a hung vote at the last Waverley Council elections and Cr Wakefield will see out the final term before the 2012 elections.
Both Cr Wakefield and Cr Nash will be involved in a new push for a light rail system throughout the Eastern Suburbs.
The state government has promised a feasibility study into a rail system from the city to the University of NSW, and there have been calls to include Bondi Beach in the study.
In his new role, Cr Wakefield said even heavy rail should be considered, despite the fact such suggestions were shouted down by locals in a massive protest at Bondi Beach a few years ago when the matter first arose.
The recent appointment of Cr Wakefield was not without controversy when former Liberal member Kerryn Sloane failed to show for the vote, which was finally decided by a show of hands and not pulled out of a hat, as has been the case for the past three mayoral appointments.
Despite resigning from the Liberal Party, Cr Sloane was appointed deputy mayor as an Independent.
Cr Wakefield insisted he was not “politically ambitious” and referred to himself as a “local resident activist”.
“I have a strong commitment to local community and the principle of local democracy,” he said.
The new deputy mayor at Randwick is Greens councillor Bradley Hughes.
Mayor Nash said it was an honour to be chosen in the lead role and said he was aware of the challenges that come with the job.
“I won’t be wasting any time getting down to business,” he said.
“I look forward to working with my fellow councillors to ensure we deliver the results expected of us by residents and ratepayers.
“I expect the next twelve months will be a very busy, but productive and fulfilling period.”