Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Blacktown honours former councillors

Sydney’s Blacktown City Council has paid a special tribute to five former Councillors.

Jaymes Diaz, Kevin Gillies, Frederick Brillo and Linda Santos did not return to Council following the local government elections last December, while Member for Blacktown, Stephen Bali MP, was required under Parliamentary rules to step down from the role of Mayor in 2019.

The five former Councillors were invited to a recent Council meeting where they were presented with framed Certificates of Appreciation by Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM.

“Tonight, we thank them for joining us, and we mark their contribution to this Chamber, this  Council, and to the history of Blacktown City,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

“The former Councillors were members of a Council that always held the health and wellbeing of constituents as its top priority while at the same time embarking on an ambitious public works program to transform Blacktown into a modern, diverse and sustainable city.”

While the Mayor officially thanked each former Councillor for their service to Blacktown City, he made special mention of former Mayor Stephen Bali MP.

“Stephen Bali served as a Councillor for nearly 20-years. He was elected Deputy Mayor in 2009 and Mayor in 2015,” he said.

“Following in the footsteps of his father, Charlie Bali, Stephen was a Councillor with a lifelong commitment to advancing the lives of the people of Blacktown City through public service. A commitment he continues today in his role as Member for Blacktown in the Parliament of NSW.

“I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Stephen Bali when we led a garbage truck convoy to the offices of SBS Television in protest at the ‘Struggle Street’ program that vilified the people and location of Mount Druitt.”

In reply, the Member for Blacktown said he had been honoured to serve the people of Blacktown City as a Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor.

“My time with Council has been a tremendous journey and I am so proud to have served with so many fine Councillors and Council staff,” said Mr Bali.

“Despite the difficulties and sacrifices that Councillors have to make, serving on Council is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. To have seen, and been part of, the transformation of Blacktown City has been a privilege.”

Mr Bali paid tribute to his wife Anne and family and his long-serving staff, saying that without their sacrifices he would never have been able to pursue his career in politics.

Council service of the five former Councillors:

Stephen Bali MP was elected to serve Ward 4 in April 2004. He was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. He served on a great many committees, including the City Festival, Skate Park, Western Sydney Airport and Blacktown Showground and Francis Park Development Committees He served on the Internal Audit, Arts Reference, Access, and Urban Animals Advisory Committees, as well as the board of Blacktown Venue Management.

He was elected Deputy Mayor in 2009, and Mayor in September 2015 Stephen Bali was elected Mayor of Blacktown City, a position he held continuously for 5 years.

Jaymes Diaz was elected to serve Ward 2 in September 2016. As a Councillor he served on Council’s Policy and Strategy, Community Services, Budget Estimates, and Warrick Lane Development Committees.

Kevin Gillies was elected to serve Ward 2 in a by-election held in April 2017. As a Councillor, he served on the Policy and Strategy, Community Services, Budget Estimates, Warrick Lane Development, Audit, Risk and Improvement Advisory, and Sister Cities Advisory Committees.

From 2018 he chaired our Blacktown City and Inter Government Advisory Committee, and was an alternate member of the Sydney Central City Planning Panel. He also served on the Environment Advisory Committee.

Frederick Brillo was elected to serve Ward 3 in September 2016. As a Councillor he served on the Policy and Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee, Budget Estimates, and Warrick Lane Development Committees.

Latest Articles