Boyd bags poll for mayor
A PLANNED referendum in September giving Tweed residents the chance to say whether they want to choose future mayors themselves is set to be torpedoed by council administrator Max Boyd. And Mr Boyd, who for years has fought to continue having Tweed’s mayor chosen by other councillors rather than by popular vote, has the support of his long-time political rival, former mayor Warren Polglase. More than two years ago when the council’s then three administrators first considered cutting numbers of future councillors from 11 to seven, administrators Garry Payne and Lucy Turnbull decided to hold a referendum at the September 2008 election on whether voters want to choose the mayor themselves. Mr Boyd opposed the move. He now wants the decision to be rescinded at tomorrow’s council meeting, where just he and Garry Payne sit as administrators, as a cost-saving measure. “The NSW state electoral office has advised that the cost of conducting the councillor elections in September will be in the order of $400,000,” Mr Boyd said. “A referendum on this issue of a popularly elected mayor would be an additional cost. “Given the council’s current budgeting process this further cost cannot be justified.” Mr Polglase says “Max has got it right”. “I’ve always adopted the same position,” said Mr Polglase yesterday. “Max has never ever supported having a popularly-elected mayor, even though there were times when he would quite confidently have been elected mayor.” Cr Polglase said mayors chosen by their fellow councillors could always confidently speak on their behalf, whereas a popularly-elected mayor might not have the support of the rest of the council and become a “lame duck”. “Just look at Ron Clarke (mayor of the Gold Coast who was popularly elected),” he said. “He gets a pasting all the time. “Everything he said he would do if elected mayor he hasn’t been able to do because he doesn’t have the support of the council.” With the increasing involvement of political parties on the Tweed, and the likelihood both the Labor and Liberal parties could stand candidates in September, Mr Polglase warned that swinging voters might choose councillors of one political persuasion and a mayor of another. “It would be a straight out dogfight,” he warned.