BAYSWATER has a new mayor following a significant upheaval that saw Dan Bull replaced by his former deputy mayor Filomena Piffaretti, the first female mayor in the council’s history.
Bayswater is one of the few remaining city councils where the mayor is chosen by councillors after the election, rather than being directly elected by voters.
On Monday October 18 a slightly reshuffled council lineup met to appoint the mayor, and Crs Bull and Piffaretti nominated.
Cr Piffaretti said the community was looking for a new direction and the council ought to set a new course with new leadership, and after a 6/5 vote she was mayor.
The ballot is secret but Cr Bull was likely one supporter down after north ward incumbent Stephanie Gray lost a spot to Waterlands and skate park campaigner Josh Eveson, who Cr Piffaretti had supported.
Both south ward councillors Catherine Ehrhardt and Elli Petersen-Pik nominated for deputy mayor. Cr Ehrhardt said “as our city and its community continues to evolve it is time to appoint a progressive, competent, and courageous leadership team that will reinstate our position as a positive and forward-thinking council”. Cr Petersen-Pik said he was independent, dedicated to working with everyone, said he didn’t drag arguments outside the chamber, and noted he had a track record of collaboration.
A 6/5 vote saw Cr Ehrhardt become deputy.
Also joining the Bayswater lineup is longtime resident Assunta Meleca, who works in education, founded a charity for motor neurone disease research, and who wants to restore Bayswater’s “Garden City” concept architected by her late father Frank Drago. She won the central ward seat, vacated by Barry McKenna who retired after 30 years in the job.
Cr Petersen-Pik handily won a three-candidate race in his south ward, and incumbents Lorna Clarke and Giorgia Johnson both solidly kept their West Ward seats.
The special council meeting was the first to be live-streamed, the final leg of a transparency motion from former councillor Chris Cornish in 2016.
by DAVID BELL