COCKBURN mayor Logan Howlett has ceded too much power to CEO Stephen Cain, and councillors need to take it back, says mayoral contender Lee-Anne Smith.
Ms Smith says that in her eight years on council, the elected members have not once met without a paid staffer in tow and she believes this has hampered their ability to work as a team.
“As a result of decisions being made in isolation, the role and process of the council has been squashed and become fragmented, leaving the city’s CEO to steer the ship alone,” she said.
“Logan’s style of leadership is to work 81 hours per week, do all and share nothing. This is not sustainable, it’s not effective and it just doesn’t work.”
Ms Smith says that while out campaigning she’s discovered there’s a strong undercurrent of people feeling left out, and if elected will fight to get councillors more involved in the decision-making and better able to represent their ratepayers.
She also wants a new planning panel created to include residents in planning matters around the city and give them a say on how developer contribution funds are allocated.
“From my experience traditional planning processes have not always provided the best outcomes for our city.”
Ms Smith says she’ll continue the fight to have Roe 8 taken off the planning scheme so the bushland, wetlands and coastline can be preserved.
Treasurer of the Australian Local Government WA Women’s Association, she says the city’s unemployment rate is growing faster than the state average and she believes the council has a role in turning that around by promoting local employment.
“Recently, I spoke to a key player in our community about employing locally and do you know what he said: ‘nobody has ever asked us’. We as a council need to lead by example in order for big business across Cockburn to follow.”
by STEVE GRANT