There are ten contestants for the Mayoral position created by the recent sad passing of former Mayor Emeritus Clr. Pat Reilly. What do we know about the contenders? For the majority of us, we probably know very little (if anything) about some of the contestants. There might be one or two current Councillors who represent your Ward. So how do we find out more?

It can often be difficult deciding who to vote for. There are a number of sources of information to assist you decide.

The following information has been extracted from the Candidates Information Sheets

 David STICKLAND was born in December 1965. He lives in Willloughy East and is not a member of a political party. David has lived and worked in Asia. He intends to address the traffic problem.

 Nic WRIGHT lives in Naremburn. He  is a member of the ALP. He did not provide any policy information.

 James FLYNN was born in November 1988. He lives in Chatswood West and a member of the Liberal Party. He is involved with a number of groups at Sydney University.

John C. OWEN lives in Chatswood West. He is not a member of a political party. John is standing on a platform based on his extensive practical experience and leadership roles in Local Government (including ten years as the General Manager of Willoughby City Council).

Anthony MUSTACA lives in Chatswood. He is a member of the Liberal Party. Tony’s background is in Education. He has served various organizations including many Italian-based organizations.

 John OWENS lives in Chatswood West. He is not a member of a political party. One of his policy platforms is to stop the Popular Elections of Mayors. It is unclear as to whether he would resign if elected.

 Steven WILLOUGHBY lives in Naremburn. He is not a member of a political party. He did not provide any Candidate information.

 Stuart COPPOCK was born in 1955. He lives in Willoughby and is a member of the Liberal Party. He has stated ‘No General Rate increase’.

 Gail GILES-GIDNEY lives in Castlecrag and is a member of the Liberal Party. Gail has been active in a variety of community groups.

 Wendy NORTON lives in Caste Cove. She is not a member of a political party. She is renowned for attending most council community events.

The following are paid advertisements from some candidates


 Dear Resident,

Willoughby is a great place – I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  I’ve lived in Willoughby my whole life and I understand the challenges our area faces.

With a fast growing population our local roads are congested and community resources are not meeting expectations.  We need a long term plan and fresh thinking to get our area going again.

I don’t believe that the answer is to hike up council rates by 30% to pay off an infrastructure backlog that the council hasn’t managed properly.  Nor do I believe the answer is to increase development unsustainably without the infrastructure to support it.

That’s why I’m calling for a public and transparent review of expenses and income, to cut the waste, and keep council rates down.

Local families and residents are already facing cost of living pressures with having their council lift their rates.

We need to send a message to Willoughby Council that we don’t want a 30% rate rise an we want responsible development – not overdevelopment.

To do that, I need your vote on Saturday, 12 April

Cr Nic Wright, Candidate for Mayor,

Authorised by Nic Wright, NAREMURN


Hello,  my name is Stuart Coppock and I live and work in this great precinct of Willoughby City.  I am running for Mayor on Saturday 12 April.

I’ve been a councillor since 1999 so I know how the City and Council works. I have extensive contacts in state and federal governments with whom I will work daily if elected mayor, to meet our ongoing challenges.

The community is telling me it wants more (and better) consultation (I support this strongly) and it wants a mayor with the skills of a financial manager with a proven track record. I am a director of a billion dollar company and a tax lawyer: I have the skills required.

I hear the message loud and clear and I will deliver a much more efficient Council with better services.
When you can, please visit my Facebook at <> to see my plans for reducing traffic congestion, increasing  kids and youth participation in dance, music and sports, greening our environment  and for upgrading our sporting facilities.

Kind regards


 Vote 1 Mayor JOHN C.OWEN,  “Independent Mayoral Candidate”

Lets make Willoughby Even Better!

Dear Fellow residents

Willoughby City Council is a wonderful place. Having worked and lived here for 37 years, I know the quality of life in our area is truly the envy of many.

In offering myself as an independent candidate for Mayor, I aim to build on the momentum of progress, to make an even better Willoughby.

I will:

• Use my local Government experience, skills and expertise to your advantage (GM Willoughby Council 1997-2007),

• Provide leadership that comes from experience,

• Honour Pat’s Legacy with a renewed vision of an even better Willoughby

No other candidate offers this combination of Council operations experience, leadership qualities and commitment to a progressive Willoughby.

On Saturday 12 April 2014 I ask that you elect me as Mayor

Contact John Owen: 9411 1696 Mobile: 0420 936 012

Authorised by John J Owen, CHATSWOOD


 Acting Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney has been a Councillor for Willoughby City since 2009 and Deputy Mayor since 2013.

Gail has been unswerving in her determination for fair and equitable representation for all residents, finding solutions for easing traffic and parking congestion, access for sport and recreation facilities, and support for local businesses. This has involved raising tough issues at Council.

Gail has been Deputy Chair of Council’s Cultural and Environment

Committee, actively participated on many other Council committees and represents Willoughby on the Council of Mayors.

Outside of Council, Gail has been very involved in Bushcare, and Cancer Council NSW. Gail was previously Vice President of the NSW Parents Council, was President of a school Parent Association and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth Junior Sporting Grants Programme. In her prior professional career, Gail was a project and client services manager for Lend Lease.

As a long term resident and having raised a family in the area Gail has used local pre schools, daycare, schools, sporting and recreational facilities and understands the pressures that can face us all. Gail is focused on strategic priorities, financial responsibility and the community of Willoughby City Council.

Contact or 9967 0395

Authorised by Gail Giles-Gidney, CASTLECRAG



Dear Voters of West Ward,

I’m an INDEPENDENT candidate.  I’ve never been a member of any political party.

Pat Reilly endorsed me at the last three council elections. I’ve been a councillor for ten years, two years as Deputy Mayor.

Councillors vote on Willoughby council-wide issues.  I listen to residents from across the whole area. Many West Ward residents have met me at public meetings about issues in Mowbray and Fullers Roads, Greville and Thomas Streets and at events at St Peters Green, The Mall and The Concourse. I’m active all the time, not just around election time.

I’m an energetic member of almost every council advisory committee and also attend Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations meetings to get your views. I respond to your advice.  I listen, learn and then advocate for community based decisions.

We face many more decisions; parking, traffic improvements, development, maintenance of assets, youth engagement, open space, Bushcare, sporting facilities. As mayor I’ll lead council to really LISTEN to YOU.  Council needs to know what YOU want. I only support policies and projects which have wide community support.  Any rate rise must be minimal and community endorsed.



Authorised by Wendy Norton, CASTLE COVE


 Keep the Willoughby Vision

The City of Willoughby was everything to my husband Pat Reilly. He made the neighbourhoods what they are, he made the city what is it, and he helped the people become who we are.  I miss him dearly and I know he would want the future of Willoughby placed in the hands of someone he could trust.

Pat often told me that former Willoughby City Council, General Manager, John Owen would make the perfect Mayor.  He trusted John as a man of integrity with exceptional talent and vision.  John and Pat worked together for 10 years.  He was there when The Concourse was first planned, he shared Pat’s vision of appropriate development, of community participation, of community engagement and most importantly he shared my husband’s wonderful vision for the City of Willoughby.

John and his wife, Helena have lived in Willoughby for more than 30 years, and I believe they would look at the role of Mayor as a family commitment just as Pat, Sophie and I did.  I know he would take the time to really listen to the community, and work towards what they wanted.  I also know that John would Keep party politics out of local government just as Pat did, and really focus on the issues important to the local people.

I would dearly like to see Willoughby continue as one of the best cities in the world, and I write today because I truly believe that’s what Pat would have wanted me to do.  If you believe, as I do, that Pat Reilly’s 27 years of dedication and passion made Willoughby the City it is, then I ask you to help me ensure this continues, and join me in endorsing John C Owen as our next Mayor.

Thank you

Beth Reilly


 On the 20th March over 120 residents (including former Mayoress Beth Reilly and her daughter Sophie) attended a Meet the Candidates session organized by this Association at the Dougherty Centre. Over the next two hours they were regaled by the Mayoral Candidates. This was the first time that residents of Willoughby had the chance to see and meet the candidates first hand.

David Stickland vowed to turn vision into strategy mobilizing teams with leadership. His four key areas were diversity, accountability, traffic, transport and parking safety.

Nic Wright sees Willoughby as a great place. He wants to address problems with State Government services. He also wants to address Council waste and have a transparent review of Council finances.

James Flynn is the youngest candidate. Employment in Willoughby needs to be encouraged. Parking infrastructure needs attention as does child care. Council needs to up-the-ante. The Concourse has been good for Willoughby.

John C. Owen is aware of street parking problems. Really knows Councils – former Willoughby GM. Can bring experience and creativity. Knows environmental issues. We need a new way of dealing with traffic and transport problems.

John Owens spoke about problems experienced in West Ward and the tension between State and Local Government. He has real issue with Council. He is against Council handing over (leasing?) million dollar assets to private business.

Stuart Coppock feels Willoughby is about community. Community consultation is key. Will note vote for a General Rate rise but would look at special rate rises on their merit. Council needs financial review.

Gail Giles-Gidney paid respect to former Mayor Emeritus Pat Reilly. Has the experience to shape the future of Willoughby. She is prepared to say NO when needed. Has a seven point Plan of action.

Wendy Norton outlined her considerable dedication to attending community events and other ceremonial aspects of being Mayor. She will listen to the people and Chair Meetings. She pointed out that only the Mayor or General Manager can speak on behalf of Council.




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