Parramatta is poised to get its first Lord Mayor of Indian origin, with Labor’s Sameer Pandey set to take on the role of Donna Davis, who announced her resignation on Monday.
After Davis was elected a Parramatta State Assemblyman in March’s election, he initially vowed to remain as mayor and to hold both roles simultaneously, despite opposition from some council members.
But on Monday she said that after seeing the council’s new chief executive, Gail Connolly, last month, she would now step down from the mayoralty – before being sworn in as MPs on Tuesday.
“I will continue my role as councilor until the next election,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Parramatta in my new role.”
NSW law allows a Council Member elected to Parliament to remain on the Council until the end of their term or for two years, whichever is shorter.
Pandey, who was elected to the council in 2017 and has an IT background, currently serves as Parramatta’s deputy mayor and confirmed he would aspire to the top job. If successful, he would become the first Lord Mayor of subcontinental descent anywhere in Australia, he said.
Longtime Labor councilor Pierre Esber, also known as Pierre the Plumber, said he was also speaking to colleagues about a potential mayoral lean. “We are a friendly party,” he said. Labor has a functional majority in the Council.
Veteran independent councilwoman Lorraine Wearne, who led the push for Davis to quit the mayor’s job, quashed speculation that she would run for the role.