Bruce Reynolds says that reflecting on his career and lineage motivated him to run for lord mayor.
I feel like my road to standing for Lord Mayor began a long time ago.
Nearly 200 years ago, John Stanton, a private aboard the H.M.S. Sulphur in Captain Stirling’s expedition, was among the first settlers to officially set foot on Western Australia.
Many generations later, including John McKenna, Western Australia’s longest-serving policeman, here I am.
I know one thing for sure: home is where the heart is, and for me, like many others, that is the City of Perth.
I have put my hat in the ring because I feel it’s time to stand for what is right.
Watching the election campaigns, from the outside looking in, I felt it was shaping up to be a power struggle with the only options open to voters the “powers that be”.
While this may be an overly simplistic view, I had this dreadful feeling that the ordinary people like me and you would be the ones left out when the dust settled.
So, being a typical West Aussie boy, I felt compelled to step in and be a voice for the thousands of people from all walks of life who live, work and run businesses in the City of Perth.
I want to be a voice; a proxy for the entire community that makes up our great city, a jewel in our state’s crown.
Naturally, I compared myself to the other candidates – all of whom have fine careers and accomplishments – and rightly or wrongly felt our Lord Mayor needed a more rounded body of experience.
For decades, I’ve volunteered my time and services to the community, because I’ve always believed in giving back.
As board member and chair of a high-profile charity for many years, I know the difference between the role of council and that of the council’s staff.
I know how to unite people, foster teamwork and create real, lasting solutions.
Over 24 years, I’ve built three businesses from the ground up in the City of Perth, which has given me a unique insight and understanding into the needs and challenges of our business community.
I have lived in the city or worked in the city since I was 15, and I still do.
It was a chat with my son that finally got me over the line.
He said, quite simply, “Dad, I know how you dedicate yourself to things… don’t be the guy on his death bed that regrets the things he didn’t do”.
I knew I would regret not putting my hand up to serve the city that I love, have lived in and worked in for more than 30 years.
I’ve put my hand up because I see the role of Lord Mayor as an opportunity to keep serving the city and the community that I love.
If elected, I will commit $50,000 of my annual income to set up a youth board, with a pay-it-forward culture and programs that connect the future leaders of our city to the community.
Ratepayers won’t be funding a council car for me; I already have one.
If I’m not elected, I hope to serve as a councillor because I’m not here for the title or the limelight.
More than that, I will bring a grounded, common sense style of leadership.
I will give people a voice and I will get things done.
You may be wondering why you haven’t seen photos of me at shelters and outreach charities in my campaign.
I don’t see these crucial services, and the people who so desperately need them, as a photo opportunity.
I nearly missed the recent Flashpoint debate because I’d already booked another appointment with a small community group.
I knew it might be the difference between me winning and losing, missing out on statewide TV exposure.
But I had just made a commitment to 20 people, and they were going out of their way to accommodate me.
You may wonder why I would do that.
But if I was happy to make a promise to those 20 people, only to jump ship when a bigger fish came along, what would that say about my integrity?
Those who know me know that I am honest and determined.
When I set my mind to something, they know they won’t find anyone more committed or hardworking than me.
I do not make promises lightly because I don’t break them.
That applies to serving and leading the City of Perth.
I implore you not to underestimate the importance of this vote; to compare all candidates carefully, and to vote wisely.
There are many more challenging times ahead and now, more than ever, we need a steady hand at the wheel.
We need real compassion, teamwork and strategy.
Above all, we need people who care and have a full body of experience to help us through the impending, post-COVID-19 storm, but also to help our great city be a place that will thrive.
Business News has offered all seven candidates for Lord Mayor the opportunity to write an opinion piece for this website. Their articles have run as they were originally written, though Business News reserves the right to edit for legal reasons.