Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan is the first to hold the title with the amalgamated council - but he is not new to the role.
He tells COVERED. how being a cricket tragic led him into the arena of local politics and why he has never looked back.
The Beaches Tunnel, Ingleside development, the new hospital and the impact Manly Hospital closure will have on the community, are just a few of the priorities where Mayor Regan feels successful outcomes need to be achieved.
He’s already working on these and just a few other issues in his role overseeing the entire Northern Beaches, rather than just Warringah.
Michael was the first directly elected Mayor of Warringah in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 with an increased majority. Proudly independent, he is also passionate about good corporate governance and clear accountability.
JUST NOT CRICKET
But it all began, for the current mayor, with a game of cricket. With nearly two decades of experience working in local government, the self-confessed cricket tragic, was playing at Passmore Reserve in Manly Vale and complaining to his team mates about the state of the pitch and ‘the bloody council’ which hadn’t maintained it.
Declaring he could do a better job, Michael decided he would. He launched the Wake Up Warringah Party, promising to wipe out infighting and run the council more as a board of directors.
He refers to his subsequent election as Mayor as ‘a very humbling accident’. However, it was no accident when he was elected again in 2012 on the Your Warringah ticket, scoring nearly 60 per cent of the vote.
During his eight-year term as Mayor, Michael led the council to deliver on increased services and invest more than $100 million on capital renewal of public assets, from sporting facilities to
Glen Street theatre. His achievements were recognised in 2015 when Warringah Council was awarded the A. R. Bluett Award for the best performing council in the state, acknowledging a wide range of accomplishments including organisational improvements, a sound financial position, collaboration with community groups as well as arts and cultural projects.
The council was also recognised for its excellent infrastructure renewal programs including the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, Collaroy’s All Abilities Playground and Forestville Sporting Facilities.
His achievements are many, but it’s Michael’s genuine commitment to the area that has earned the trust of the community.
He has worked tirelessly to engage local residents and listen to their needs and grievances and is under no illusion that the new Northern Beaches Council will need to listen even more as the state government and its aligned councillors strive to interfere more in their daily lives. But he’s already shown he’s the man for the job.