A Changing of the Guard
Buckle up kids, there’s a new Sheriff in town. Actually, there are three. A few weeks ago, our local councils saw new mayors and deputies elected across the board. Of course, you may have missed all of this for lack of ceremonial pomp. While a simple shift change in England requires obnoxiously large hats, a marching band and a load of regal tomfoolery, here in Australia we just prefer to get on with it.
Although we may not indulge in outlandish ceremonies, these are important changes that affect locals. So who are these mayors and deputies, what do they stand for and what can we expect from them?
At Waverley, Labor Councillor Paula Masselos was voted in as mayor and Greens Councillor Elaine Keenan was voted deputy. After serving seven years as a councillor, Mayor Masselos is the first woman of Greek heritage to be elected mayor of Waverley.
“In the 160 years of continuous operation as Waverley Council, some 70 men have held the position of mayor. In this time, there have been only five female mayors, and my election makes me the sixth, so I pay tribute to the women who have gone before me,” Mayor Masselos told The Beast.
“In the next 12 months we will continue to beautify our public places, protect our local neighbourhood centres and villages and fully engage in continuing to make our suburbs liveable and walkable. I will continue to advocate for high quality and reliable public transport to help address the increasing congestion on our roads and streets.”
“People who know me can attest to my track record of fighting monstrous overdevelopment. I also have a commitment to support our businesses, and in particular our small, local neighbourhood businesses,” said Mayor Masselos.
Waverley Deputy Mayor Elaine Keenan has lived in Waverley for over 30 years.
“I am excited to be part of a progressive council team that has both the capacity and resources to make our community more liveable through increased action on climate change,” she said.
Over in Randwick, Labor Councillor Danny Said and Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch were elected mayor and deputy mayor respectively.
“I’ve lived in Randwick City for most of my life and raised my family here. I have a great passion for the area and am incredibly honoured to serve as mayor,” Mayor Said explained to The Beast.
“We’re facing some significant challenges over the next 12 months that we will need to address as a council, including the proposal to build a cruise ship terminal in Yarra Bay.”
“We’re continuing to roll out our Smart City strategy too, which will make things like planning a trip to Coogee Beach and finding a park a little easier.”
Meanwhile, in Woollahra, Liberal Councillor Susan Wynne was elected as mayor with Councillor Richard Shields, also of the Liberal Party, as deputy.
“As a Woollahra resident for more than 20 years and a Councillor for the past 11, I’m honoured to have been elected as Mayor,” Mayor Wynne told The Beast.
“Striking the right balance for residents and locals and visitors who wish to enjoy a night out and ensuring our commercial hubs continue to thrive will be areas of focus over the next 12 months, and I am also looking forward to working alongside local groups to create deeper community connections.”
As we welcome the new kids on the block we would also like to take a minute to thank the previous mayors, John Wakefield, Kathy Neilson and Peter M Cavanagh, for their service to the local area. They have all been a pleasure to work with and we wish them all the very best for the future.