COUNCILLORS declared their interest before voting by majority to keep their ‘jobs’ following a Shire of Mundaring ward and boundary review put to council on Tuesday.
Rates Mundaring action group spokesman John Bell spoke to the Gazette after the meeting.
“Councillors declared their partiality up front and then proceeded to debate and vote to continue the status quo, with some boundary adjustments; an ‘interesting’ process,” he said.
Mr Bell, who also represented the Swan Chamber of Commerce, had submitted a proposal calling for the abolition of the current ward process, the number of councillors to be halved to six and for the remaining councillors to represent the Shire as a whole.
He said the Shire had a relatively small population and based on comparative data, six councillors were more than sufficient to represent ratepayers’ interests.
“Even with a 50 per cent cut in the number of councillors, as we recommend, the elector/elected member ratio would still be adequate,” he said.
Councillors voted against their officers’ recommendation and instead adopted the option of four wards, with amended boundaries between Central, South and West wards.
More than eight options were presented to the councillors, with officers favouring ward abolition and a reduction of councillors progressively from 12 to seven from next year’s local government elections.
A community consultation forum in May invited residents to complete an online questionnaire about the review, or send in submissions by email or post.