Changes to election of mayors on the horizon

The Gosnells mayor is currently elected by councillors. The alternative is to allow residents to elect the mayor. In Perth, 17 of the 26 eligible councils have resident-elected mayors.

According to the report, councillor-elected mayors enjoyed the support of council and avoided personal politics. But it found residents could feel denied of their rights, internal politics could influence the decision and there might be instability leading up to an election.

The positives for voter-elected mayors were that each voter could express their preference, it removed potential instability, residents could consider candidates’ policies and the residents might feel more accountable.

Some of the negatives were that the mayor might not have the support of the council, it might be a popularity contest, the policies of the mayor might not have the support of the council and voters would not be able to change an unsatisfactory mayor until the end of the mayor’s term.

Gosnells councillors will now consider the matter.