IT has been just over six months since he became City of Gosnells mayor, and Glenn Dewhurst has loved every moment of it.
The ex-police officer, businessman and cockatoo sanctuary-founder memorably came to power after his name was drawn out of a hat following a three-way tie in the mayoral vote.
A quarter of the way through his term, the mayor has spoken of his desire to see Gosnells become a ‘super city’.
He said while Gosnells was occasionally forgotten due to its location between two big cities in Armadale and Canning, he believed Gosnells had the potential to match them.
“We’re between two powerhouse cities, Armadale and Canning, where a lot of money is spent and we seem to be lost in that middle,” he said.
“We’ve got some power cities either side of us, getting federal and state money with a lot of private investment going in and we’re getting missed, but we can become a super city and quite frankly, we can do it without the state and federal government.
“We need their bureaucracy, but we can get this paid for as other cities have done in the past, if they get the right kind of business into the city to create jobs.”
Mayor Dewhurst said he was doing his best to drive investment in the city, but felt some of his fellow councillors were not as interested as he was.
“I have contacts with people who have a lot of money and I’ve been trying to attract them to the City of Gosnells, we’ve had a couple of keen investors come,” he said.
“However, they’ve asked for a partnership with the city or a business and the councillors have agreed they don’t want that partnership.
“My main focus was economic growth and increasing employment and wages for the people in the City of Gosnells.
“I’m finding it difficult because I’ve got to respect the direction of the councillors, they’ve decided they don’t want to go that way.
“Attracting the right companies who give money locally is what we want and I’m very passionate about getting investment into the city.”
Over the first six months of his reign, the mayor has endured his share of controversy.
Council debated whether his sharing of a Facebook post by an anti-Islamic group breached the city’s code of conduct and he faced further scrutiny when he submitted a planning application in his daughter’s name to help build her online profile.
However, he said he had not taken any criticism to heart and said for every critic, he had found an ally.
“Initially I was taking it personal, but I spoke to a member of parliament and they said ‘it comes with the turf, you’re not going to have everyone happy’,” he said.
“I’m certainly on a mission and the feedback I’m getting is the council certainly needs a shake-up, not just a shake-up for the sake of a shake-up, but to actually drive economic benefits, jobs and growth.”
Mayor Dewhurst also said he wanted to see some more transparency at council meetings in the form of video recordings.
“I want to see our workshops done in public view so the public can see how the councillors are thinking,” he said.
“When you have development going through, there’s frustration of people who come to our meetings but don’t have a right of reply and councillors can’t ask them questions.
“Councillors are talking about having audio recordings of councils, but I think if you’re going to have absolute transparency, you need video recording.”