WHILE voters appear to overwhelmingly support their right to elect the mayor, the ones in line for a position on council are less than keen about the concept.
Referendum votes counted so far indicate almost 63 per cent of voters said yes to electing their own mayor from 2016 surprising many of the candidates the Central Western Daily spoke to.
Mayor John Davis was not surprised people voted yes to choosing their own mayor but did not expect the vote to be as high as it was.
He said it would be a new challenge for council.
“People think they can make a difference in regards to a popularly elected mayor [but] in most cases it would probably be the same person,” he said.
“The most popular person in town could be the greengrocer... but the most popular person for mayor is a different question.”
Greens group leader Cr Neil Jones said he was “bitterly disappointed” the mayoral referendum was successful but was not surprised at voters’ choice.
Russell Turner said he voted against the referendum and believed it should be left to councillors to elect the mayor.
Kevin Duffy said a lot of people did not understand what they were voting for.
“They’re not making an informed decision,” he said.
“With a 60/40 basis [for the referendum] they will always have a conservative mayor.
“It’s disappointing not because of the politics of the person but because you’re stuck with the same mayor for four years.”
Election hopefuls Ron Gander and Brian Wood both felt voters were not given enough information about the referendum prior to the election.
Mr Gander said he was surprised the referendum was answered within an overwhelming yes vote.
“It’s like the US presidential elections you can buy your position,” he said.
“The elected delegates will choose the most able not the most popular.
Mr Wood said many voters were uncertain whether the role of the popularly elected mayor would differ to the current model.
“The council, as far as I’m concerned, stuffed it up,” Mr Wood said. “They should have explained it to people.”