Referendum question on election of Stirling mayor set

The referendum will coincide with the October local elections.
The referendum will coincide with the October local elections.

STIRLING councillors have decided on a referendum question, which could change the way the mayor is voted in, but one councillor has concerns.

The referendum will coincide with the October local elections and will ask residents if they want to directly elect the mayor.

WA councils can choose to adopt one of two systems for mayoral elections: voters directly elect the mayor or ward councillors decide.

Councillor Karen Caddy urged councillors to hold off on deciding on the questions so they would have more time to deliberate the wording.

However, councillors decided to opt for Cr Terry Tyzack’s proposed question: Do you support changing the method of electing the City of Stirling Mayor from ‘by the Councillors’ to ‘by the electors’? Yes or No.

Cr Caddy said she had concerns some ratepayers would not understand some parts of the question.

“I’m concerned some people may not understand what they are voting for,” she said.

Ms Caddy also questioned whether there would be any preamble to the question to provide some context.

Stirling Governance Manager Bernadine Tucker said the question would still need to be approved by the electoral commission.

Cr David Boothman put the proposal forward in early March and Karrinyup resident Leisha Jack spearheaded a 600-signature petition in support of the people electing the mayor earlier this year.

The result will be known at the ordinary election count October 21. A further reportwill be referred to Council for consideration.

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