Carey and Harley run again

JOHN CAREY will seek re-election as Vincent mayor in October, as will his deputy, Ros Harley.

The confirmation ends the persistent rumour that Mr Carey was a possible contender for lord mayor of Perth, something he said was only on the table when there was a possibility of Vincent and Perth merging.

“I never considered jumping ship from Vincent to Perth,” he says.

Mr Carey’s only been mayor two years, winning the by-election caused by Alannah MacTiernan’s election to federal parliament.

He says continuing reform of “transparency, accountability and governance” is a key reason he’s running.

After appointing new CEO Len Kosova a year ago several examples of troublesome practices under the previous regime were uncovered.

Since then Cr Harley’s moved that staff credit card spends be made publicly available and has sought to have the gifts register put online, while Mr Carey’s demand that councillors publicly register all meetings with developers is now happening.

• John Carey and his deputy Ros Harley will run again this October. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• John Carey and his deputy Ros Harley will run again this October. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

“I see this as a pivotal election, going to the voters of Vincent and saying do you want us to continue the reform agenda, because we believe it’s critical for Vincent to be a better council, to do things better,” Mr Carey says.

“It has been a leadership team of myself and Cr Harley that have been helping to drive that agenda.”

He says project highlights have been the big upgrades at the Oxford Street reserve, the tripling of investment in the greening plan, the big nature playground at Braithwaite Park, spruced up town centres, and the long-time-coming bike plan being rolled out.

Mr Carey led the council that voted not to renew former CEO John Giorgi’s contract. In the immediate aftermath he faced a backlash from some staff who’d petitioned to keep their old boss, but the protest didn’t have legs and quickly died away.

Former mayor Nick Catania—a supporter of John Giorgi—also had a few choice words about Mr Carey, questioning the decision to oust an experienced CEO. Mr Catania reckoned the developer register was a nice PR move but too impractical for councillors to register every single meeting.

Mr Carey’s also faced occasional criticism from a very different camp to Mr Catania: former councillor Dudley Maier, who most recently opposed the council’s plan this year to charge businesses higher rates than residences (under the justification the scale needed to be evened up since businesses had been getting it easy for too long).

The Voice hasn’t heard of any other mayoral candidates popping their heads up yet. We asked Angelo Merlacco, who ran against Mr Carey at the last election,and he said he’s “thinking hard about it”.


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