In the first major decision of the new Redland City Council, Wendy Boglary has been elected unanimously as the new Deputy Mayor.
A Division 1 Councillor since 2008, Cr Boglary declared it was a ‘huge honour’ to be chosen by her fellow Councillors.
“To have been elected by my community to serve my third term as Division 1 Councillor is a huge privilege; and now for the Mayor and my fellow Councillors to entrust me with the position of Deputy Mayor is truly humbling,” the council press release said at the time.
She was also quoted in the press release: “I look forward to supporting the Mayor and Councillors and I truly believe that the Mayor and I together are a formidable team and our diversity of views only makes us stronger.”
Mayor Karen Williams congratulated Cr Boglary on her appointment as Deputy Mayor. “Cr Boglary will do a great job as Deputy Mayor and I am looking forward to working closely with her,” Cr Williams said.
At a workshop on North Stradbroke Island to introduce the new and old to each other just after the election, a new pledge of co-operation was made by the new councillors.
That direction is to be admired and The Friendly Bay Islander hopes the new council can maintain this new direction.
We also thought it opportune to get to know a little better the popular Division 1 councillor and went to Wellington Point to catch up with Wendy in a local park.
Wendy Boglary grew up in Beaudesert and, like many a generation or two ago, visited the Coast regularly and Wellington Point and Cleveland were the usual holiday destinations.
Her parents moved to the coast 28 years ago and the new Deputy Mayor moved with her family soon after.
A working career started in the banking industry but progressed to small business once she and her family moved to Wellington Point.
They at first operated a bread run and later owned a food store at Ormiston.
Bringing up three boys saw Wendy doing anything and everything in the community from coach to manager to fetching and delivering and meeting many locals and getting involved with her local church and raising funds for the Cancer Council.
“It was when I owned and operated the store at Ormiston that I got to speak with many locals.
“I became more locally aware when a development was planned up the road and I realised that the community needed a better voice.
“That’s when I decided to stand for council in 2008 and got elected.
“I stood as a real independent with no party affiliations and I still maintain that position,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.
She soon discovered that being a councillor was no easy task.
“It was daunting and there was no manual that came with the job.
“There were many hats to be worn and expectations; my own and then reality.”
Along the way she learned and grew in her position.
She says she has ‘always been a whole-of-city councillor’.
“I have always had a keen interest in the Bay Islands and came to understand the problems of the islands which were inherited from bad State Government planning in the 1970’s.
“Many of those issues have not ever been properly addressed.”
Wendy Boglary said she did not like being identified as someone who did not support the islands.
“I have and I will continue to support the islands. I have also pushed for a rate reform workshop to the benefit of the islands, but with little success,” she said.
Wendy says she is a ‘realist’ and knows no matter how hard we try “we can’t always get what we want”
The council has gone from a huge debt of $128 million in 2008 to its position of a surplus position and no debt.
An $80 million handout from the State Government helped substantially when the State took over council’s water assets which was used to reduce council’s debt.
“Efficiencies have been found and council is now in a strong financial position, and one that should be sustainable.”
As the new Deputy Mayor she believes she and Mayor Karen Williams can work well together.
Ironically, they have many similarities: They are quite attractive; intelligent; and they care about their communities.
Wendy Boglary says: “We have checks and balances with each other.”
We got the feeling that the Deputy Mayor Boglary would like to see more substance to the Redland economy and not just development for development’s sake.
She says she intends to get to know the islands a little better and to visit ‘more often’.
She would also like to see some of council’s meetings rotate around the city, including the Bay Islands.
“I hope to be seen on the islands soon.”
Division 2’s Cr Peter Mitchell, Division 4’s Lance Hewlett and Division 5’s Cr Mark Edwards said they would gladly welcome any visit by the new Deputy Mayor.
So say all of us!
• New Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary