Last Friday, 27 September, the Council of Waverley in Sydney elected its representatives, voted by the Councillors in the biannual Mayoral election which takes place every September.
Labor Councillor Paula Masselos and Greens Councillor Elaine Keenan, both of Lawson Ward, were elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively.
Masselos, has been a Waverley Councillor for seven years and is the first woman of Greek heritage to be elected Mayor of Waverley.
“In the 160 years of continuous operation as Waverley Council, some 70 men have held the position of Mayor. In this time, there have been only five female Mayors, and my election makes me the sixth, so I pay tribute to the women who have gone before me,” she said.
“When I chose to run for Council seven years ago, it was because I have a great love and respect for our beautiful local government area. We do have some of the most iconic areas on the planet – such as Bondi and the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. My deep respect for our community means I will work hard for our residents, and to fulfil my obligations. I want to ensure that our community’s voice is well heard and that we, as Councillors hear that voice – including that of our children.
Touching on her aims for the next 12 months, the newly elected Mayor promised to continue to beautify Waverley’s public places, protect the local neighbourhood centres and villages and fully engage in continuing to make the Council’s suburbs liveable and walkable.
“I will continue to advocate for high quality and reliable public transport to help address the increasing congestion on our roads and streets,” Masselos said.
“People who know me can attest to my track record of fighting monstrous over developments – 194 Oxford St being a case in point. We have been combatting this Twin Tower folly since 2013 and I, as Mayor, will continue to join with the community to fight this to the very end. I hope we can prevail.
“While on the point of heritage buildings, it is the progressive Waverley Council that has not only saved the Boot Factory but is now looking at how it can be re-purposed. The Waverley LGA is recognised around Australia as a leader in the innovation space. In understanding this, I have placed the Boot Factory front and centre in the knowledge and innovation space.
Closing her address to her constituents she pledged honesty, transparency and integrity.
“I also have a commitment to support our businesses, and in particular our small, local neighbourhood businesses. In the next six months we will piloting some activation projects that will support local businesses and serve as an attractor to residents and visitors alike.”
Finally, Deputy Mayor Elaine Keenan said she will be working hard with Mayor Masselos to ensure that the Council delivers a progressive agenda for the community and maintains the Council’s strong financial position which includes more than $180 million in reserves and investments.