Goodbyes are notorious for being difficult, but when you’re saying farewell to 21 years of service like Councillor Jackie Greenow did on Monday night, it’s completely acceptable to get choked up.
Monday night saw the very last meeting of Penrith Council’s class of 2012, where Councillors who laughed with each other – and quite often argued – said their goodbyes.
Councillors Greenow, Prue Car and Ben Goldfinch are hanging up their boots, with other Councillors facing the real possibility they won’t be back for another four years after Saturday’s Local Government Election.
Probably for the first time this Council term, not a single Councillor had a bad word to say about another in the public meeting.
Cr Greenow wiped away tears before thanking fellow Councillors, promising she will continue to be there for them.
“To the people in East Ward who voted for me and helped me, I say thank you very much,” she said.
Cr Goldfinch delivered a shaky goodbye, but lightened the mood when he handed
Councillor Michelle Tormey a present for all of her advocacy to ensure clean and working toilets.
“There’s been a time when toilet seats were missing, so I brought her a present – a toilet seat,” he said.
Councillor John Thain described Cr Car as “his mate and his confidante”, and said he has never seen anyone work so hard in Council and as a State Member.
Cr Car returned the gesture, and said she wouldn’t be where she is without Cr Thain.
“He is the calm voice on the end of the phone, and the wise steer,” she said.
“Words can’t express how grateful I am.”
However, Cr Car won’t be resting on her laurels after a comment from her fellow Councillor and former State Election competitor, Bernard Bratusa.
“Prue, congratulations on Londonderry – see you in 2019,” he said.
It wasn’t all an emotional rollercoaster, as Mayor Karen McKeown looked back on Council’s achievements.
Council also thanked its three recent Mayors – Mark Davies (2012), Ross Fowler (2013-15) and Cr McKeown (2015-16).
Locals prepare to go back to the polls
Local community halls, schools and churches will be buzzing with activity on Saturday, as Penrith locals head to the polls again.
The Council Election on Saturday, September 10 should be the last time Penrith residents need to vote for any more politicians until 2019.
Locals will vote for Councillors to represent them in the ward they live in. In the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA) there’s three wards – East, South and North.
There are between 16 and 20 polling locations in each ward, similar to the locations of July’s Federal Election.
Polling places will be open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday and the majority are assisted wheelchair accessible.
If you won’t be around on Saturday, there is still a chance to vote at either one of the two pre-poll locations in the Penrith LGA.
In the east of the LGA there is St Marys Memorial Hall, on the corner of Great Western Highway and Mamre Road, St Marys, or in the west you can vote at 205 to 209 High Street, Penrith in the old Blockbuster Video site.
The pre-poll locations are open from 8.30am to 6pm, and postal voting options are also available for anyone out of their ward on polling day.