IT WAS one of the most heated local government election campaigns in years and it has claimed the scalp of City of Kalamunda mayor Andrew Waddell.
Mr Waddell declined to comment on the election result that saw him miss out on one of two vacancies in the North West ward by 14 votes. Dylan O’Connor was comfortably re-elected, with newcomer David Almond also getting a spot.
In the North ward, sitting councillor Sue Bilich also narrowly missed out on retaining her seat by 36 votes.
Mrs Bilich may yet contest the result in the Court of Disputed Returns on the grounds that the Save Kalamunda Shire Action Group published misleading information in breach of the Electoral Act in the lead-up to the election.
High-profile former Liberal MP Alyssa Hayden failed to strike a chord with voters and polled just 8 per cent of the vote in the ward. Former councillor and Retirees WA chief executive Margaret Thomas and Cameron Blair were elected.
Mrs Thomas said it was pleasing to see so many candidates standing.
“Gone are the days when there wasn’t an election because nobody wanted to stand for council,” she said.
“There were a lot of people who stood this year and that is a really healthy sign for our local council.”
Mrs Thomas said she was pleased to have another opportunity to represent her ward.
“It is disappointing that it has been a dirty election campaign with signs stolen and claims made that were blatant lies,” she said. “But I believe ratepayers have selected a good crop of councillors who are focused on representing their wards.
“In the past the dislike between some councillors has bordered on hatred and that has to stop. This is a fresh opportunity for councillors to stop bickering and work as a team.”
In the South East ward Geoff Stallard won convincingly with 63 per cent of the vote. In the South West ward, Lesley Boyd defeated sitting councillor Noreen Townsend.