PENRITH has survived the second election in less than three months with the LGA election results being declared on Monday. Most of the councillors from last term who threw their hats into the ring, were reelected, with the exception of Maurice Girotto and Michelle Tormey, and there were a few new and familiar faces voted in.
In East Ward there was strong support for the Labor ticket headed by Greg Davies, with three out of the five elected councillors coming from team Labor: which saw the entry of newcomers Todd Carney and Ben Price. Liberal Councillors Tricia Hitchen and Bernard Bratusa were also returned.
In South Ward Labor Mayor Karen McKeown polled strongly, as did Liberal Mark Davies and Independent Jim Aitken. Labor’s Kath Presdee returned after a one-term break and newcomber Josh Hoole, Liberal was elected.
Voters were quick to endorse the return of Labor’s John Thain, Liberal Deputy Mayor Ross Fowler and Independent Marcus Cornish.
Labor’s Aaron Duke will join council for the first time.There was a close contest in North Ward for the last spot - it was so close in fact that a result was not known for days who had it. Seasoned-councillor Kevin Crameri took it out in the end.
At the declaration of the polls a number of the Councillors spoke about how positively they felt about the campaign.
Deputy Mayor, Ross Fowler said because the council ran their own election ratepayers saved some big dollars.
“I would like to thank council itself because I think we saved rate payers about 100,000 by doing it ourselves, and that is money in the rate payers pockets,” Cr Fowler said.
Independent Councillor, Marcus Cornish, commented by saying the campaign felt bigger than a local government election.
“They were more like state or federal campaigns, and that’s the way it should be. People need to be informed and I congratulate all parties on doing a very hard campaign,” Cr Cornish said.
The Mayor thanked all the volunteers who helped with the many campaigns for all the candidates.
“I would like to thank the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who turned up at pre poll and on the day who worked for all candidates to get them elected,” Mayor McKeown said.
Councillors will elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor at a special sitting of council on Monday September 26.
The political make-up of the Councillors who will be electing the positions is Labor 7, Liberal 5 and Independents 3.