ON Wednesday Echo News asked the City of Swan’s new Mayor Tanya Richardson about how she planned to address the community perception of a council divided over issues such as the Midland Oval redevelopment masterplan.
Mrs Richardson, a Guildford mother of four, said informed debate was healthy in a democracy and Swan ratepayers expected councillors to be able to have robust discussions as they plan for the future.
“But too much division can be counter-productive and we have certainly seen that in previous years,’’ she said.
“With contentious issues like the future of Midland Oval, people will have different views and they will feel strongly about them.
“It’s up to council members to bring those different views to the table while staying focused on the bigger picture of charting the best way forward for our community,’’ she said.
“That’s my vision for the council and it’s one of my responsibilities as a leader to foster a positive and productive culture.’’
Not only is Mrs Richardson the city’s first popularly elected mayor but she is also the first female mayor, following in the footsteps of the late Margaret Kidson, who was the only female president of the Shire of Swan, which became a city in 2000.
She said she would be focusing on her new role as mayor, but as she remained passionate about caring for people, she still hoped to work as a nurse on a casual basis when she had time available.
“I am passionate about nursing and have been for a long time, but being the Mayor of the City of Swan requires a significant commitment of time and energy.
“A community as vast and diverse as ours deserves to have a leader who is fully invested in the role.
“Thousands of people voted for me to be their first popularly elected mayor, and that’s an honour and responsibility I will take very seriously.”
When asked about some of the issues or proposals she hopes to prioritise during the next four years Mrs Richardson said from the tourism appeal of the Swan Valley to the natural beauty of the Swan River and the economic potential that’s waiting to be unlocked across the city, the community has so much going for it.
“We are growing at a rapid rate and it’s up to us as elected leaders to guide that growth in line with the community’s expectations and aspirations.
“There are major projects under way across the city, but as someone who was elected to represent Pearce ward in 2019, I’m particularly excited to see the Ellenbrook Leisure Centre come to fruition.’’