Councillor Mick McKay Re-elected

Published on Friday, 22 October 2021 at 2:28:00 PM

Earlier this week I was confronted with a very good question: “Which councillor were you most pleased to see elected last Saturday night”?

The question took me by surprise but when I thought about it, I said the re-election of Mick McKay was a special result because his return was testament to his indomitable spirit and his resilience.

For those who don’t know Mick, within days of my being elected as mayor in 2015 he fell off the roof of a shop in Burt Street – in typical Mick fashion trying to help someone – and as a result became a quadriplegic.

At the time I went out of my way to get him back to council, ensured the Kalgoorlie Town Hall lift was working and set up his place around the table catered for his wheelchair.

It was all too much for him and after two meetings – against my urgings – he resigned.

Four years later he has learnt to live with his disability and lifestyle and with modern telecommunications such as video conferencing, he can still be a councillor from his home.

I will make sure as mayor that Mick’s voice around the table is heard and that he can participate in the debate and decisions like his fellow 11 councillors.

At the other end of the scale, if I have a disappointment with the result it was that sitting councillors Linden Brownley and Nardia Turner were not re-elected.

Cr Brownley was a voice of reason and while he did not talk a lot at meetings, when he did he offered a different perspective and a view most of us had not thought about, but as an Aboriginal leader, he was a valuable councillor, respected by his peers.

As for Cr Turner, it may be my fault she did not get re-elected because I should have been vocal and let the voters know she was one of the best and hardest working councillors who hardly missed a meeting and did a huge amount of work behind the scenes.

Such is democracy that sometimes the best candidates miss out but that is the will of the people and unlike Donald Trump in the USA, no one here would consider overturning the result and nor should they.

However, maybe in future the number of council and committee meetings individual councillors attend should be published next to their photo on the ballot papers. I know one person who would support that is Cr Mick McKay, who has long held that councillors should only be paid for the meetings they attend.

Both moves may see the ratepayers get a better service from their elected representatives.

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