Italiano goes for gold

• Cr Giovanni Italiano outside Stirling city council. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Cr Giovanni Italiano outside Stirling city council. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

GIOVANNI ITALIANO will try to wrest the gold chains from Stirling mayor David Boothman at the October council elections.

The Osborne Park councillor told the Voice he is ready for another crack at becoming mayor after narrowly losing to Cr Boothman two years ago.

Stirling’s mayor is decided by a vote of councillors, and Cr Italiano thought had enough support in 2011.

He was left crestfallen when ally Cr Joe Ferrante went on a business trip at the eleventh hour and left him one vote short.

Cr Elizabeth Re switched her allegiance to Cr Boothman when a new vote was called.

“I’ve been a councillor for 15 years, so I’ve got plenty of experience and knowledge to bring to the role,” said 62-year-old Cr Italiano.

“I’m on the council’s Development Assessment Panel, a board member of the Stirling City Centre Alliance and have applied to be a council representative with the Metropolitan Regional Authority, so I’ve got my finger in a lot of pies.

“I’m really passionate about transforming Stirling’s city centre into a world-class hub,” he said.

Cr Italiano, who works as a builder, is backing council’s ambitious $16 billion plan to turn Stirling into “Perth’s second CBD”.

Cr Boothman, 62, denied rumours he would step down as mayor because of personal reasons at the election.

He says he plans to re-contest his position and wants to oversee the much anticipated Scarborough Beach redevelopment.

“Now we’ve secured government funding for the Scarborough Beach project, it will be a very exciting time to be mayor,” he said.

“I also want to see a first-class rail system in Stirling; right now people are complaining about sardine conditions on trains—we don’t even have a proper rail network for people to use.”

Cr Boothman was elected mayor in 2007 when his name was pulled out of a hat, leading to the nickname “Bingo Boothman.”

The hat technique is used if the Stirling mayoral contest is tied after two rounds of voting.

Last month the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal increased maximum annual mayoral allowances from $60,000 to $85,000, making the role more lucrative.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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