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Think Local

What is Willoughby Council's current make-up? 
"One endorsed Green, seven unendorsed Liberals, one unendorsed Labour and four Independents." 
Will you be standing for re-election? 
"I will be standing for re-election as a councillor and mayor. I love being the mayor of our wonderful city and look forward to the opportunity of continuing for another term." 

What will some of the challenges be for the elected mayor? 
"There are obvious issues in our area at present that need addressing - traffic and parking pressure, managing planning responsibly, and avoiding overdevelopment (despite state government-mandated density requirements), protecting our heritage, environment and village living, and ensuring everyone has access to sport and recreational facilities. 
"Council's financial position is not the problem it was when I was elected in 2014. It has improved following decisions made around operational efficiency and funding arrangements. We have enough money in cash and reserves to cover the long-term debt funding on The Concourse by 2.5 times." 
What have been the biggest issues and struggles during your term? 
"We had to sit on our hands while debating council amalgamations. 
"We've now adopted a new traffic and parking strategy and we've rejected developments that don't fit into the North Shore balance of commercial, residential, retail and lifestyle that our community demands. There's still much higher demand than supply of these facilities, but we're doing what we can for footballers, netballers, tennis players, children and our aged community. 

"Environmentally, I want to ensure our community doesn't experience 'green fatigue'. We have over 300 hectares of bushland, a strong recycling ethic, and commitment to explore renewable energy - but there is more we can improve on in this area." 
What is Mosman Council's current make-up? 
"There are seven councillors serving at present." 
Will you be standing for re-election? 
"I'm not standing for Mayor or Councillor at the elections. It has been a great pleasure holding the post of mayor for the last five years." 

What will some of the challenges be for the elected mayor? 
"A major challenge for any new mayor is to unite the council after an aggressive electoral process, and to achieve an effective working council that recognises the contributions all councillors make to the community." 
What have been the biggest issues and struggles during your term? 
"The perennial challenges are ever-increasing traffic issues and potentially excessive development. Current planning processes are currently keeping most developments under control. 

"A related issue is maintenance of the extraordinary local environment and the protection of public open spaces. There's increasing pressure on these open spaces, including the long-term parking of boats and commercial vehicles in residential streets. 
"We're fortunate to have high-quality cultural and social services, both strongly supported by the community. The new council must continue to value and nurture these community contributions." 

What is North Sydney Council's current make-up? 
"Ten independents." 
Will you be standing for re-election? 
"I'm standing for re-election as both Councillor and Mayor. The position is not for the faint-hearted - it's a full-time commitment. Any mayoral candidate will need to be politically astute, devoted to the community and prepared to act quickly in this rapidly changing landscape." 
What will some of the challenges be for the elected mayor? 
"The elected mayor will need to be up to speed on all government infrastructure being rolled out over the next five years. The Metro, B-Line and Western Harbour/Northern Beaches Link Tunnel will all have considerable impacts on the North Sydney Municipality. 

What have been the biggest issues and struggles during your term? 
"With a growing population, the mayor will need to be creative to address the shortage of open space, sports grounds, childcare facilities, after-school care, and schools in our region. 
"Housing affordability means more families in North Sydney live in apartments. Council's planning controls must ensure new developments provide quality accommodation for families, with open space access. 

"The amount of infrastructure North Sydney is facing is unprecedented and we need to examine the environmental impacts on our residential areas and North Shore schools. 

"In recent times, the issue of the position of the stacks for the Harbour/Beaches tunnel has become a significant issue and the new mayor will need to work with the state government to get them to modify their plans - otherwise the government will face a political backlash like they've never seen before." 

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