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Former mayor Kevin Bailey lost his seat at the 2021 local government election

Sun sets on mayor’s time at City of Swan

By Claire Ottaviano

AFTER 16 years on Swan Council, two as deputy mayor and the past two as mayor, Kevin Bailey says he’ll be taking time to refocus on his future.

The former mayor lost his Pearce ward seat at last Saturday’s 2021 local government election.

“The last few years philosophically was probably my time in the sun,” he said.

“Someone put it to me the other day that I was elected as mayor for a reason and what came after proved I was the person for the job so I take that as a compliment and I’m proud of what I did.”

Within the first four months of his term as mayor, Mr Bailey faced the retirement of the City’s long-term chief executive, the onset of COVID-19 and the Wooroloo Bushfire disaster.

“No one could have foreseen Mike Foley’s retirement, then COVID which turned everything upside, and then the bushfire,” he said.

“The mayor’s role had to step to a level where you wouldn’t normally be in the political ring, you had to take charge of things.

“We put in the COVID task force to drive our business community and we managed to keep our community and our business community together.

“And then the bushfire came in and we ran straight into the deep end to be there for the community.”

Another difficulty he faced lay in the council itself in which councillors had made seven local government standards panel complaints against each other in the past two years.

“Someone made a comment that we were a dysfunctional council, and that’s not true,” he said.

“We might be disconnected, but that’s a personality thing.

“Personality is a disconnect but at the end of the day we still made good decisions, we still got positive outcomes for our community.”

He said it was too early to know if electors would see his name on the ballot in 2023.

“After 16 years it’s been a bigger and bigger part of my life,” he said.

“Other people that have gone through the same say you have to spend time, refocus and continue to support those that are left behind.

“If there’s a community group that wants assistance in [council] then yes I will stand up and assist them – I will certainly work as an advocate but you’re not going to see me in there jumping up and down making protests at council for the sake of it.

“Sometimes people can take the sour grapes approach and I never want to do that.

“You accept the unbiased decision and you move on with life.”

He said he would continue to provide support to councillors if asked, including wife Cate McCullough who still resides on council.

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One comment

  1. What a humble man. 🙂

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