New councillors pledge to do their best for Albany at first meeting

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
The City of Albany's new-look council came together for its first ordinary meeting last week.
Camera IconThe City of Albany's new-look council came together for its first ordinary meeting last week. Credit: Jenny Feast Photography

In their first public address since the election, Albany’s new councillors thanked the community for its support and promised to work hard during their terms.

After making their declarations, first-time councillors Mario Lionetti, Lynn MacLaren and Craig McKinley reflected on their successful campaigns.

Cr Lionetti congratulated everyone who had been successful at the election and said he mainly needed to “thank the people” as he did not think he would be elected.

“I’m here because of you and for you — for the people that elected me and those that didn’t, because it doesn’t matter how you voted and we are here for the city,” he said.

“I’m hoping with everyone here we can make it bigger and better because I’ve got grandkids now as well as kids, and I want Albany to thrive for them.

“I don’t care about any other town as long as we do all right.”

Cr Craig McKinley, Cr Mario Lionetta and Cr Lynn MacLaren
Camera IconCr Craig McKinley, Cr Mario Lionetta and Cr Lynn MacLaren Credit: Jenny Feast Photography

Cr MacLaren reflected on her first taste of Albany as a 16-year-old exchange student and how her return as an adult was pivotal in her decision to run for the council.

“I am here to contribute my views and to work towards sensible solutions to give the Albany community hope for a future rich in biodiversity and housing diversity and sustainable living,” she said.

“. . . As Albany grows, we must stay true to our values.

“There is much we can achieve for Albany and I’m dedicated to working in this council to achieve Albany’s vision.”

Cr McKinley thanked the community while introducing himself to the council.

“I’d like to thank the community who voted me in because without you I wouldn’t be here, “ he said.

“I’ll always try to do my best for Albany, that’s for sure.

“. . . I look forward to working with the city team, who are all very professional, and obviously our team of councillors.”

Last week’s ordinary meeting was the first chance for the new-look council to signal its intentions for the coming two years.

During their reports, many around the table made a resounding promise to work as a team and promote civil debate, particularly when differences of opinion arise.

Mayor Greg Stocks said the council had “wonderful potential” because of the diverse opinions around the table.

“I’m going to give you a very simple message and a message to the community as the leader — I’m ready for that responsibility and eager to take on that responsibility,” he said.

“Listening to the quality of the reports of members tonight I can say ‘so are you’.

“We have much to offer in terms of our quality decision-making and our robust discussion.”

Representation on four council committees, three advisory committees, three working groups, and seven external committees were also decided at last week’s meeting.

Cr Paul Terry will sit as a member or proxy on the most groups (10), followed by Mr Stocks (nine), Cr MacLaren (seven) and Cr Malcolm Traill (six).

Councillors Thomas Brough, Robert Sutton, Stephen Grimmer and Mario Lionetti will each serve on five, while councillors Craig McKinley and Amanda Cruse are on four each.

Cr Delma Baesjou‘s only two committee commitments are the community and corporate services committee and the development and infrastructure services committee, which each comprise the entire council.

Other changes within the council chambers included several councillors shifting positions around the table, partly due to the removal of wards and a reduction in the number of elected members.

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