City of Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard brings hammer down on 11 years at the helm

Mayor Troy Pickard and chief executive Garry Hunt before their final Joondalup council meeting together.
Mayor Troy Pickard and chief executive Garry Hunt before their final Joondalup council meeting together.

IT is the end of an era for the Joondalup council.

After 11 years in the top job, Mayor Troy Pickard chaired his last council meeting last night.

“It’s been an absolute honour and a privilege to serve and represent the interests of the community,” he said.

“It’s been a phenomenal journey over the last 11 years, one that will remain with me forever and that opportunity would not have been possible without support of the Joondalup community.

“This also provided me with the unique opportunity to represent all local governments in WA and all local governments in Australia as president of WALGA (WA Local Government Association) and ALGA (Australian Local Government Association).

“I think one of the primary achievements of the class of 2006, which includes Councillors Russ Fishwick, Tom McLean and Kerry Hollywood, was our ability to return good governance and stability to the City of Joondalup; attributes which were unfortunately missed in the preceding years and over that decade we’ve managed to ensure the good governance continues in the City.

“I think a significant outcome of the last decade is the council has activated the silent majority.

“Prior to 2006, a number of small, special interest groups drove the decision making of the council.

“You will only hear from a very small segment of the community who express their voices and invariably it’s in hatred and anger.

“You need to apply a lens in your decision-making so you recognise and appreciate there are many people out there that value what you do, that support the initiatives and the foundations this council has built and ensure they have a voice as a silent majority.

“I encourage you to not fall in to the traps of previous councillors that ultimately has resulted in their dismissal.

“Be open and transparent in your declaration and disclosures and ensure no slippery conduct occurs around the table.”

Other achievements he listed were the “good shape” of the City’s finances and condition of the City’s parks and reserves, the progression of the Ocean Reef Marina and winning the award of the World’s Most Liveable City in 2011.

He also thanked the City’s staff, directors and chief executive Garry Hunt, his support staff, the local sporting and community groups and stakeholders, councillors past and present and his friends and family.

“Everything I have done in my capacity as mayor has been for the broader interest of the Joondalup community,” he said.

“I never put my own interest first and I’ve worked tirelessly in my role and I hope that even those people that might have disagreed with some of my positions or who I’ve had arm wrestles with in various forums will sit back and reflect on what I think has been a good chapter that has allowed the City to move forward and I think has built a solid foundation for whoever the next mayor to build upon and I wish them all the best as they take the reigns of the council and lead the city to continue prosperity and happiness.”

He encouraged “all members of the public to actively participate” in the upcoming election.

“It’s an opportunity to choose six councillors and a mayor, which is a wonderful demonstration of democracy,” he said.

“For those elected members who are seeking re-election, I wish you well.

“I have absolute confidence in the broader wisdom of the Joondalup community to make a fair and appropriate judgement of your performance.”

Mr Pickard closed the meeting by striking the gavel; something he has never done in his 11 years as mayor.

“I’ve never struck the gavel in a council meeting because I felt if I had to strike the gavel, I’d lost control in the chamber,” he said.

“My final gesture as chairing a council meeting is to formally declare it closed.”

Mr Pickard’s position as mayor will officially end when votes close on October 21, with a special council meeting on October 24 to swear in the new mayor and successful ward candidates.

Deputy mayor reflects on time with Mr Pickard

DEPUTY Mayor Russ Fishwick, who was elected in 2006 alongside Mayor Troy Pickard, reflected on the past 11 years at last night’s meeting.

“When the mayor, Cr Tom McLean, Cr Kerry Hollywood and myself were elected in 2006, it was on the back of the previous council being suspended by the Minister of Local Government due to being dysfunctional,” he said.

“The new council had the task of restoring residents’ confidence in the elected body of the City of Joondalup.

“Over the years we worked hard to ensure the City’s reputation was no longer tarnished but became respected as a major local authority.

“The City now enjoys a reputation to be envied due to the good governance that is prevalent in all its undertakings.

“As this is the mayor’s last meeting and Cr McLean may be the only survivor of the class of 2006 following the elections, I’m proud to say thank you to the class of 2006 for the way we turned the reputation of the council around with the mayor at the helm.”

He congratulated Mr Pickard for “a job well done”.

Chief executive Garry Hunt also used the opportunity to thank Mr Pickard for his “leadership of the council”.

He said Mr Pickard had made a “significant contribution” being the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) deputy president for two years and president for five and a half years, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president for two years and a representative of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives for four years.

“Mayor Pickard has played a key leadership role in both the community and the City of Joondalup and the local government sector of WA,” Mr Hunt said.

“He’s been a strong advocate for the state and on the national scene.

“Mayor Pickard has been an energetic leader, and by his own admission sometimes a little too energetic, keen to explore new initiatives and ensure the City was viewed as an industry leader.

“He’s been willing to explore and exploit opportunities to put the City of Joondalup on the international stage.

“His network of contacts is extensive and that has served and assisted the council, the City and the community.

“Mayor Pickard’s skills and expertise in dealing with the media and to present in front of large often international forums delivering intelligent, articulate and passionate commentary on a myriad of topics is acknowledged and applaud.”

Thanks to Mr Pickard also came during public statement time from representatives of several sporting and community clubs including Kingsley Amateur Football Club, Whitford Lions Club, Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club, Joondalup Brothers Rugby Union Club, Northern Districts Tennis Association, Northshore Country Club, Whitford Hockey Club and Globalheart Church.

However, not all agreed with the sentiments with Crs John Chester, who hopes to be re-elected, and Russell Poliwka, who is running for mayor, walking out of the council chamber during the speeches from Cr Fishwick and Mr Hunt.

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