No vote a vote of confidence?

EMMA COLE has won a second term as Vincent mayor.

Ms Cole was elected unopposed after no other candidates nominated, which she said was a bit of a shock.

“I will continue to deliver positive, common sense results for our community and drive initiatives that support our unique community spirit and bring people together,” Ms Cole said.

North ward was filled without troubling voters, with incumbent Dan Loden – a sustainability engineer – returned for a second term.

Cr Loden said the first thing that came to mind was a Simpsons scene where Homer wins a competition to go to outer space after he ends up being the only candidate, celebrating the win by “de fault: The two sweetest words in the English language”.

With Ros Harley retiring, the other empty spot went to newcomer Sally Smith. She’s been a resident for 30 years, volunteered for the town team Mount Hawthorn Hub, and ran kids’ store Little Posh in the Mezz Shopping Centre for 10 years. With a small business background she’s keen on making traders’ lives easier and improving town centres.

The south ward is a battleground with six candidates vying for two spaces: One occupied by deputy mayor Susan Gontaszewski and the other vacated by outgoing Jimmy Murphy.

Ashley Wallace: An environmental engineer, he wants to use that experience to “help create a neighbourhood and council that is inclusive, engaging, safe and fun, supported by the responsive, accountable and cost-effective delivery of municipal services”.

Susan Gontaszewski: The current deputy mayor is standing again, saying she wants to continue Vincent’s path of reform. Cr Gontaszewski says she’s had some good wins so far, ushering in improvements to parks and the public open space policy, reducing red tape for local business, and investing in town centres, events and public art.

David McDermont: Former Subiaco councillor from 1978 to 1981, he was also one of the “Friends of Robertson Park” who stopped an unpopular large-scale redevelopment in the park. Mr McDermont wants community-friendly parks and town centres, to safeguard existing residential quality of life, and to retain heritage places and buildings.

Joshua O’Keefe: Chair of the Beaufort Street Network, school teacher and former town planner who worked at Vincent, he wants to bring a planner’s eye to the town centre crisis. ”Our town centres are crying out, the planning system is at crossroads and the way you get involved in decisions needs a rethink,” Mr O’Keefe says. “My energy combined with 10 years of town planning and place management in Local Government means I know what questions to ask and will think outside the box for solutions.”

Peter Le: A Highgate resident and lawyer who’s provided legal and governance compliance advice to councils, he says; “I will promote accountability and acceptance of responsibility for decision-making and performance. I believe councils should make informed evidenced based decision-making”. A Vietnamese refugee, he was past president of the Vietnamese Community in WA, and his volunteer work in many organisations earned him the 2019 WA Volunteer for Multicultural Communities Award.

Adina Lieblich: A civil engineer, she says “roads, footpaths and bike paths are literally what I do. I am passionate about helping our community move in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner”. Ms Lieblich is keen on “renewing our existing infrastructure with a focus on sustainable transport we can achieve less congestion on our streets and easier parking”.

by DAVID BELL

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