In a significant political shift, Pierre Esber of the Labor party has been elected as the new Lord Mayor of Parramatta, succeeding Sameer Pandey. This decision came after a series of events that saw Pandey, who had been in the role for merely 18 weeks, ousted by his Labor colleagues. The election of Esber as the new Lord Mayor was the result of an extraordinary council meeting, which was preceded by a last-minute caucus meeting where Labor councillors decided to remove Pandey from his position.
The decision to replace Pandey has exposed a deep divide among the local Labor councillors. The party’s head office had ordered a meeting where councillors voted 4-3 against nominating Pandey for re-election, instead choosing to nominate Esber. This move has left many questioning the reasons behind the party’s decision not to support Pandey, especially given his short tenure. During the council meeting, Labor councillor Paul Noack expressed his disappointment, stating that Pandey’s term had been “cut short.”
Pandey, reflecting on his brief tenure, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the City of Parramatta. He mentioned his pride in contributing to the city’s ongoing transformation. Esber, who is locally known as “Pierre the Plumber” and has served on the council for 24 years, acknowledged Pandey’s contributions and expressed his eagerness to continue the work started by his predecessor.
However, the decision has not been without controversy. Some members of the community, including Sanjay Deshwal, president of the Little India Harris Park Business Association, have voiced their disappointment. Deshwal highlighted Pandey’s popularity, especially among the local Indian community, and described the decision as a “dark day for democracy.”
The political upheaval in Parramatta’s leadership has left many speculating about the future of the Labor party in the region. Some believe that this move might have long-term repercussions for the party’s standing in Parramatta.