Councillors vote in Sammels: City of Rockingham

Perth’s longest-serving mayor wins two more years.
Perth’s longest-serving mayor wins two more years.

LOCAL government in Rockingham and Kwinana is among the most stable and experienced in the Perth metropolitan region after Barry Sammels was re-elected this week.

Cr Sammels has been City of Rockingham mayor for 12 years, and was re-elected unopposed for a further two years at Monday night’s special council meeting.

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams has served as mayor for nine years, making her the third most experienced local government head in the metro region.

Monday’s special meeting was held to swear in new councillors Lee Downham (Baldivis ward), Kelly McManus (Rockingham ward) and Katherine Summers (Safety Bay ward), and returned councillors Chris Elliott (Comet Bay ward), Joy Stewart (Rockingham ward) and Leigh Liley (Safety Bay ward) following last weekend’s local government elections.

The addition of three new councillors in Rockingham was the most since 1997.

Fellow councillors elected Cr Deb Hamblin deputy mayor ahead of Cr Matthew Whitfield by a vote of seven to three.

It is the second time Cr Hamblin will serve as deputy; she held the position from 2011-2013.

Across the metropolitan area’s 29 local governments, Cr Sammels is followed by City of Subiaco’s Heather Henderson (10 years), and Adams and City of Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard (nine years).

Cr Sammels said he was honoured and humbled to be re-elected and added he was unaware of his standing as the longest serving current mayor.

“It’s not something I’ve ever thought about,” Cr Sammels said.

“I know I’m the longest serving Rockingham mayor, which is not hard to know given there have only been five (mayors) and with all the pictures hanging near the boardroom.”

He said “changes of blood” within council would create more interest in the mayoral position in two years; Cr Whitfield admitted while making a case to councillors for deputy mayor, “I don’t want to be deputy, I want to be mayor in two years”.

Longest serving mayors in Perth local governments

12 years: Barry Sammels (City of Rockingham)

10 years: Heather Henderson (City of Subiaco)

9 years: Carol Adams (City of Kwinana), Troy Pickard (City of Joondalup)

8 years: Lisa Scaffidi (City of Perth), Trevor Vaughan (Town of Victoria Park)

6 years: John Gangell (Town of Bassendean), Jock Baker (Town of Claremont), Logan Howlett (City of Cockburn)