A new alliance has seen Cr Ross Fowler retained as Penrith Mayor in this evening’s Council elections.
At Council’s Ordinary Meeting, the 15 Councillors had the task of electing a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
The Weekender understands that a deal struck two years ago meant that Cr Jim Aitken and Cr Ben Goldfinch were to be elected as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively for the third term.
However, a last minute alliance between Labor and several Liberal Party members saw that deal broken.
Councillors Bernard Bratusa, Tricia Hitchen, Ben Goldfinch, Mark Davies and Ross Fowler joined with Labor’s Prue Car, Karen McKeown, Greg Davies and John Thain to see Cr Fowler take the Mayorship.
Cr Fowler defeated independent Cr Jackie Greenow for the position, nine votes to six.
The same alliance, with the additional vote of Greens Councillor Michelle Tormey saw Greg Davies elected over Liberal Party member Marcus Cornish for the Deputy Mayorship.
Cr Thain said that Cr Fowler had been fair as a Mayor during debates in the council chambers.
“You have been fair in the chair and that’s good for chamber,” he said.
Cr Greg Davies said that he was looking forward to working with Cr Fowler over the next 12 months.
“I am certainly honoured… we are certainly going to have an interesting 12 months ahead of us and I want to thank all the councillors for their support,” he said.
Mayor Fowler said that with issues such as council amalgamations and the Badgerys Creek Airport likely to dominate the next 12 months, he is looking forward to the challenge.
“We will continue to focus on creating economic activity that will see Penrith grow as a place to live, work and play,” he said.