FORMER Stirling mayor David Boothman has been named the 10th Honorary Freeman of the City.
The award is bestowed on citizens in recognition of service to the city, and current mayor Mark Irwin said that across Mr Boothman’s 27 years on council he’d served on almost every committee.
Mr Boothman was recognised for his efforts on safety and crime prevention, getting more waste out of landfill and into recycling, and his work building bridges with the Indigenous community.
At the special council meeting to bestow the freeman title on February 20, Mr Boothman gave a speech recalling his early days as Balga Ward councillor in 1994: “The RAC described Balga as the burglary capital of Australia”, he said.
“I hadn’t been long on council, and I recognised that the police force was changing strategy and they were going to a more strategic focus, and issues like community policing were sort of going on the backburner a little bit,” the former police officer said.
“So what that meant was that if you had a burglary, if you had a person coming into your house and whatnot, the likelihood of you actually getting police officers to attend was becoming more and more rare.
“And so I was proud when council supported when I moved a motion for council to adopt its own security, which was unanimously supported, and we did that in-house,” one of the measures he credits with improving the suburb and surrounds.
There are only two other living freemen: former mayor Tony Vallelonga, awarded in 2009, and Rodney Constantine, a long-term council staffer who was awarded in 2007.
by DAVID BELL