Liberals in Parramatta -12 months latter

As a supporter of smaller government I want to see local councils, the level of government closest to the people, to do well. So its good to see Parramatta’s Liberal-Independent coalition government has had a successful first year with a orderly transition to a new Lord Mayor. 
Paul Garrard – Parramatta’s longest-serving councillor- was last night elected lord mayor of the city for the fifth time during his 35 years on council.

The independent councillor beat Labor’s candidate Pierre Esber nine votes to six. Liberal councillor Chiang Lim was elected deputy, against Labor’s Julia Finn by the same margin.

Former lord mayor Tony Issa, who had been mayor for a year, decided not to stand again.

In standing down, Cr Issa paid tribute to his fellow councillors in the way they had worked together. He said he was proud to have abolished politics in the chamber and to have reduced the city’s $6.9 million debt to a $4.6 million surplus.

 And they kept rates under control too:

“The State Government gives so little to Parramatta, a major city centre. We need money for transport, to bring people to Parramatta rather than just have people leave it, and for parking but other places get it before we do,’’ Cr Issa said. “We are the only council which did not raise its rates above the CPI and we would like more government support.’’

Good luck to Cr Tony Issa and wishing a succesful year to new Lord Mayor Paul Garrard.

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