Gosnells mayor Glenn Dewhurst says it is business as usual at the City of Gosnells despite recently having been thrown out of his office in the council building.
“This is an issue of people not liking other people,” he said.
“I have enjoyed my two years as mayor but quite frankly them holding me back has been a good thing because I have been able to work for two years and say this is what we can do and this is what is achievable.”
The mayor is the first to admit that his outspoken style has landed him in hot water, but said he is determined to push for change for the better in his city.
“Everyone has their own skill set and I am very different,” he said.
“I see things that need to be done and I am very good at building relationships and creating opportunities, that’s what I do in my job.
“I am very much a team-orientated person as well, but when the team doesn’t want to work with you, sometimes you have to throw a few grenades in there and start anew.
“Hopefully everyone can work out what it is but, look, the councillors do the bread and butter stuff and that is being done but I don’t think that’s what we need from council now,” he said.
The mayor has had his fair share of opponents, particularly when it comes to issues such as making council more inclusive, the use of social media by councillors and his continued push for a popular vote for mayor.
“Originally I did not agree with a popular vote for mayor because up until the last change of legislation to the Local Government Act, if you had a bad mayor or a bad councillor they couldn’t just get rid of that person, they had to get rid of the whole council,” he said.
“However, with changes to that legislation you can now deal with problem people or the Minister can, it just makes sense because a popularly elected mayor is someone who can set a mandate.
“So you can listen to the mayor and they can say this is what I want to do and how I can do it and people out in the community can make that determination and say is it realistic or achievable or is a person full of it.”
In response to those who have suggested that it is in his best interest to have a popularly voted mayor, Dewhurst disagrees.
“Is it in my interest? No it isn’t,” he said.
“It’s actually in the community’s interest because there are a lot of things we can do differently in the community if I have the support of council but the community want to have a say.”
“Every election time when the story is run and the community talk about it, they say we want to elect the mayor so I mean if I ran for mayor and it was a popularly elected mayor and I didn’t win, then so be it, it’s a democratic process,” he said.
Glenn Dewhurst is the first to admit that he does vent his frustrations publicly at times, but said it is often due to a lack of progress in his view.
“I do vent my frustrations, not just local government but at state and federal government as well. We have a billion dollars of development being held up by bureaucracy,” he said.
“There is no issue (with his social media use).
“I have had my peers look at it from other councils and they don’t have an issue with it.
“The issue that the councillors have with it is that I’m out there and I don’t post everything.
“It is about promoting the city,” he said.
The controversial mayor said his next step will be to launch what he describes as ‘nine pillars on how to deal with local government.’
The local government elections will be held in October.