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SSC Newspaper : August 2010
Elected mayor not popular By Natalie O'Brien MAYOR TONY Maroun used his casting vote to quash moves to introduce the position of a popularly elected mayor to head the Strath eld Council. e Council was spilt three all on the motion an Mayor Maroun used his powers to determine which way the decision would go. e proposal was defeated a er a debate in council which included arguments that such a move would be "all about big money". Cr Paul Barron, an independent, argued that a popularly elected mayor would spell the end of the independent councillor because big political parties could use their nancial re- power to back their candidates. Cr Bill Carney also said a popularly elected mayor may not have the support of the other councillors. "We could run the risk of having a mayor for four years even if they don't have the support of councillors," he said. Strath eld, like the majority of other metropolitan councils, does not have a popularly elected mayor. Traditionally, the mayor is chosen by the councillors themselves. Deputy Mayor Keith Kwon told the council meeting that a popularly elected mayor would bring stability to the position. " e mayor would have four years to put his vision for the community," said Cr Kwon. He said the idea that sectarian groups would dominate the council for four years was incorrect. "It's a red herring", said Cr Kwon. A report presented to the council pointed out that prior to such a change, a constitutional referendum would need to be held at a cost estimated by the NSW Electoral Commission of least $18,600 if held in conjunction with the 2012 general election. e report said that before a referendum could be held, voters would need to be informed of the case for and against such a move. On the "for" side voters would have a direct say in selecting the mayor, which should increase his or her accountability. e case "against" included the argument that popularly mayors may not have the support or con dence of other councillors or voters, and an underperforming or unsatisfactory mayor cannot be removed. Council unleashes even more fun events By Matt Khoury and Bernadette Chua Fresh from the over whelming success of the inaugural Cooks River Fun Run, Strath eld Council has announced the details of this year 's bumper Spring Fair. e Spring Fair, one of the most anticipated events in Strath eld, will be held at Strath eld Park on October 24. e fun- lled day will run from 10am to 4pm. Once again, entry will be free. Meanwhile, over 200 runners and walkers took part in the Cooks River Fun Run, which far exceeded the expectations of the organisers -- so much so that the run may now become an annual event. Wayne Staunton, the co-ordinator of the Sold Out events company, says 200 people was "excellent for a rst-up run". Members of Strath eld Council were also impressed with the response. Deputy mayor Councillor Keith Kwon was one of the many people running or walking around the circuit on the day. " e main purpose of the run was to have fun and exercise," he says. "But it's also about the creation of community, so I hope it becomes an annual event." e event was also supported by St. John's Ambulance and the Strath eld branch of the State Emergency Services. " is beautiful track is an untapped resource, as it really o ers something bene cial," says Martin Amy, a town planner who came second in the men's 10 kilometre race. e winner of the 10 kilometre race was Bel eld resident Brendan Davies, 33, who completed the event in just 33 minutes. e women's ve-kilometre event was won by Sally Lynch, 41, in 20 minutes. "In the nal stages, someone was chasing me" she said. "But it just spurred me on." Hot on the heels of the fun run comes the news that the Spring Fair will return to Strath eld in October bigger and be er than ever, with over 120 food and market stalls expected. Strath eld Council is urging stallholders and sponsors to register for the fair -- one of the many events celebrating 125 years of Strath eld history and incorporating historical themes commemorating this milestone. e Spring Fair is one of the most popular events on the Strath eld calendar regularly a racting 15,000 people and o ering a wide range of activities for the entire family. For more details, call Strath eld Council on 9748 9999 or visit www.strath eld.nsw.gov.au More than 200 people took part in the inaugural Fun Run By the Mayor of Strathfield, Tony Maroun. WHY WE SHOULD AVOID A COSTLY BY-ELECTION SStrath eld Council's recent decision to seek advice from the Division of Local Government as to whether it can avoid a by-election was based on us wanting to avoid an excessive cost. e recent vacancy, which occurred a er Danny Lim resigned from council, has meant we are now facing the prospect of a by-election to re-elect the seventh councillor. However, being half-way through our term, we think it would be a massive waste of ratepayers' money if a by-election were held. It is important to note that we are not saying we want to permanently stay at six councillors; rather, we are saying that we should stay at six councillors until the next general election, which is due in 2012, when voters can then elect seven councillors to Strath eld Council, maintaining the original number. e issue is primarily based around cost -- the 2008 election cost $136,400 and we expect that it would cost a similar amount to hold a by-election. It is reasonable to wonder how that can be so, considering that the people of Strath eld are only voting to ll one vacancy. One reason is that Strath eld Council is not made up by wards. In a local government area that is made up of wards, a by-election is held exclusively within the ward. However, at Strath eld, the entire voting public from the municipality are required to vote, meaning that the infrastructure and logistical requirements would mirror that of a general election. As with any council, Strath eld has had its moments, and certainly, the rst quarter of my mayoralty was not all plain sailing, but in this calendar year, all the councillors have worked hard to stabilise council, and we are now at a point where we all work together with the requirements and needs of the community guiding our decisions and conduct. is has led to a council which is extremely functional. It is because of this that we would argue that we don't need a by-election that would cost ratepayers upto $100,000 -- instead, all six of us are commi ed to achieving real results for the community. Please call 9748 9924 for further information. Business papers for Council and committee meetings are available from Council’s Customer Service Centre, public libraries and at www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au – from the Saturday prior to each meeting. Council and Committee Meetings Meet Your Councillor sessions have recommenced. First Tuesday of the month Ordinary Council at 7pm Council Chambers 65 Homebush Road, Strathfeld Second Tuesday of the month Planning Committee at 6pm Iron Bark meeting room Strathfeld Library and Information Centre. 65-67 Rochester Street, Homebush Third Tuesday of the month (as required) Environmental Committee Social Committee Economic Committee 6 Strathfield Scene "Being half way through our term, we think it would be a massive waste of ratepayers’ money if a by-election were to be held.” -- Tony Maroun, the Mayor of Strathfield auguSt 2010 COUNCIL NEWS BRIAN PLANNER FAREWELL Brian Planner has retired a er serving for 20 years as the Executive O cer of the NSW Churches Cricket Union. Planner has been associated with the union for over 50 years, both as a player and o cial. He was farewelled at an informal cocktail function on July 30 at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club. MOON FESTIVAL Strath eld Council has shown its support for the upcoming Moon Festival, set to take place on September 19 in Flemington. e Moon Festival is an important event in the Chinese culture as it is an important date in the lunar calendar. Council has allocated $6,600 for the event and will be closing o Henley Road, from e Crescent to Exeter Road. In Brief