Candidates outline priorities

August 24, 2017
North Shore Times
Caryn Metcalfe

Community consultation a common theme at meeting with residents.

About 50 people turned out to hear from the Willoughby mayoral candidates at a forum on Tuesday night.

 

Cr Gail Giles-Gidney, who was elected Mayor following Pat Reilly’s death in 2014, and Cr Angelo Rozos are the only two candidates running for the position in the September 9 elections.

The Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations held a meet-the -candidates forum in Chatswood to allow residents to make a “well-informed decision on voting day”.

Cr Rozos listed bringing leadership to the councillors as one of his main priorities.

“The councillors need to have a sense of empowerment,” he said.

“The mayor shouldn’t have to be everywhere.

“My role as mayor should be about getting (councillors) involved. This council is gridlocked with planning and process but no implementation.”

Cr Giles-Gidney said the role was a “seven-day-a -week job” and she was proud of the achievements and relationships she had built in the position.

“My vision is to lead a council in resolving all of today’s challenging issues and to set things up for an even better future,” she said.

“We must have solid, steady, strategic planning in the immediate term, building on our already solid foundation to ensure our city’s success for the future generations to come.

“We must get that right for all those who live and work here,” she added.

Cr Giles-Gidney said she would like to see more opportunities for the councillors to engage with the public, such as through regular forums or a citizen’s

jury to decide on in-depth issues.

Cr Rozos said the council could do better in consulting through social media.

He said he also wanted to focus on Chatswood’s traffic problems, particularly on weekends, and suggested investigating minibuses to get kids around to sport, plus he wants to tackle the increasing issue of homelessness in the community.

Cr Giles-Gidney said it was important to consult with residents around traffic and parking strategies. She hoped to also establish a forum to look at sport and recreational space.

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