By DI BARTOK
A NEW Lord Mayor of Parramatta will be elected by councillors on May 22 following the resignation of Donna Davis in the role.
Deputy Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey is tipped to take the role, making him the first person from the Indian sub-continent to be lord mayor.
But veteran Labor councillor Pierre Esber may also put his hat in the ring.
With Labor controlling the chamber, the new lord mayor is likely to come from their ranks.
Long-standing Independent Lorraine Wearne has ruled herself out of the race, according to media reports.
Ms Davis reached her decision to resign from the Lord Mayor role shortly before being sworn in as new Parramatta State MP on Tuesday May 9.
Following her election to State MP at the March election, Ms Davis had declared her intention of continuing as Lord Mayor until that term ended in September 2023, saying she wanted to assist the new chief executive officer Gail Connolly during her transition period.
Many councillors felt she should step down as Lord Mayor so she could concentrate on her role as State MP, even though the dual roles are allowed until the mayoral term ends.
In her media statement, Ms Davis said she was stepping down now that Ms Connolly had settled into her role.
The Parramatta Times understands this was her own decision, though she was unavailable for any further comment.
Meanwhile, debate over whether the Lord Mayor should be elected by popular election rather than the “horse trade” of councillors’ vote continues.
Residents have been sent a survey on whether there should be referendum on the matter at the 2023 council elections.
PHOTO: Donna Davis at one of the last events as Lord Mayor.