Veteran Councillors split on future


Veteran Penrith Councillor John Thain. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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More than half of Penrith Council’s veteran Councillors have signalled their intention to run again in this year’s Council elections.

Councillors Ross Fowler, Jim Aitken and John Thain have confirmed they will contest the September 4 election, while stalwart Kevin Crameri is likely to bow out and Greg Davies’ tenure looks doubtful.

All five men have served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor over the course of their respective terms, and have sat on Council for more than 20 years.

Cr Davies, a Penrith Councillor since 1995, said one thing is for sure: he won’t be running on a Labor Party ticket.

“Our pre-selections closed a month ago and I didn’t put my hand up,” the East Ward Councillor said.

Greg Davies. Photo: Melinda Jane

“As I haven’t nominated the chances are I probably won’t, but as I said, I didn’t want to make my mind up until we get closer to the actual date.”

Cr Crameri, who was first elected way back in 1974, said it was still his intention not to stand.

“That’s the situation at the moment, I might try and help somebody else get in, I don’t know,” he said.

Kevin Crameri. Photo: Melinda Jane.

However, fellow Independent Jim Aitken, who has been on Council since 1995, is preparing for another roll of the dice.

“Penrith’s got some great plans it has been working on for a few years and they’re all coming to fruition, and it would nice to be a part of that and to make sure the public has a say in everything we do,” the South Ward Councillor said.

Councillor Jim Aitken. Photo: Melinda Jane

Cr Fowler also has fuel left in the tank, despite serving since 1991.

“I still think I have a lot to offer the city of Penrith,” the Liberal North Ward Councillor said.

“I’ve still got the passion and I certainly have the ability, I know that, so I think I will be running providing everything goes according to plan and there are no upsets or illness or something along those lines that prevents me.”

Ross Fowler. Photo: Megan Dunn.

Similarly, Labor’s Cr Thain – a Penrith Councillor since 1999 and North Ward representative – is eager to return.

“I’ve still got the juice, still got ideas so I’m keen for another crack,” he said.

“I’m keen to serve the community if they want me for another three years.”

Councillor John Thain. Photo: Melinda Jane.

NSW council elections were supposed to take place in September last year, but were postponed due to COVID-19.

Penrith Council has 15 Councillors, four of whom are women, including incumbent Mayor Karen McKeown and Deputy Mayor Tricia Hitchen.

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