STIRLING has a new councillor with Michael Dudek handily winning the November 25 extraordinary election to fill a vacant Balga Ward spot.
The seat was empty after long-serving councillor Keith Sargent resigned in September, following his arrest on charges of possessing child exploitation material.
After an especially active two-month campaign touring the ward Cr Dudek romped in the win garnering 1842 of a total 5019 valid votes (36.7 per cent). He doubled the result of the next nearest contender Amy Blitvich with 906 votes. Also running were Bellamore Ndayikeze, Wayne Evans, Ram Tin Thei, Dianela Ion and Leonie Getty.
Stirling mayor Mark Irwin announced the result on Friday evening, saying “on behalf of the city I welcome councillor Dudek, and thank the unsuccessful candidates for their contribution to this process, especially given the unexpected nature of a by-election.
“Each of the seven candidates represented the diversity of the local community, and I am pleased that the people of Balga Ward had such a high-quality field of candidates to choose from.”
Cr Dudek works for a bookkeeping firm and has won awards at the state level as a goalkeeper in both soccer and futsal.
His election pitch said “as a local leader, getting kids off the street through sport and social clubs is part of Michael’s Four-Point Action Plan to combat drugs, gangs and antisocial behaviour” and he wants to bring back verge collections to cut down on illegal rubbish dumping.