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Candidates line up to fill Simms' city council seat

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A prominent West End stakeholder, a supermarket owner and a residents’ group president are among a mix of all-male nominees vying to fill Adelaide City Council’s vacant area councillor seat.

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Nominations to fill resigned area councillor Robert Simms’ vacant seat closed at midday today, with a list of all the confirmed candidates to be published on the Electoral Commission SA website this afternoon.

Simms, a member of the Greens Party, quit the council in March to fill retired MLC Mark Parnell’s state Upper House seat.

It was the second time Simms forced a supplementary election at Town Hall, after he resigned during his first term in 2015 to fill the seat left vacant by former Greens Senator and Parnell’s wife, Penny Wright.

An area councillor is elected from the whole of the Adelaide City Council voting area, with the elected member responsible for representing the interests of all city residents and ratepayers.

Ballot packs for the supplementary election will be mailed out to eligible voters between July 6 to 12, before a scheduled July 26 polling day.

Simms’ replacement will have just 16 months to serve on the council before the next general local government elections in November next year.

Here is an alphabetically-ordered list of candidates who InDaily is aware are in the running to become the new area councillor.

Andrew Wallace 

Adelaide West End Traders Association president Andrew Wallace is a vocal advocate for the city’s hospitality industry and improvements to Hindley Street.

Wallace owns a property on Pirie Street and works at the University of South Australia as an interior architecture program director.

According to his university biography, his research interests are “placemaking and urban regeneration, particularly in the West End of Adelaide”.

“I’m independent and I’m not aligned with anyone,” Wallace says.

“I’m a strong conduit for other people’s ideas.

“I don’t come to this election with preconceived ideas, I come to it with a methodology of finding out what other people say needs to happen.”

Wallace says as councillor, he would advocate for both the day and night-time economies.

He says both economies should work together to help businesses and residents across the whole city.

His other priorities include protecting heritage – particularly architecture from the 20th century – as well as increasing green spaces.

Keiran Snape

Keiran Snape is a former south ward candidate and current president of the City South Association.

The city-dweller says the current council is too focussed on the “big end of town”, with residents’ voices lacking in the chamber.

He is also a vocal critic of the council’s Team Adelaide majority faction.

“I’ll be running as a community independent with an intent to get in and represent the community and also to stop Team Adelaide from getting another person in,” he says.

Snape says “bread and butter” issues are at the heart of his policy platform.

The self-described “policy wonk” wants the council to establish a rolling scheme to fix footpaths, increase green spaces and protect heritage buildings.

He also wants to be transparent about his political leanings.

“I want to state quite clearly that I’m getting no financial support from the Greens or endorsements,” he says.

“I am running as an independent and part of my platform is bringing honesty and transparency.”

Shahin Sayar Dashti

Shahin Sayar Dashti wants Adelaide to become the number one liveable city in the world and says the council show take note of European cities such as Vienna, which have preserved their heritage while expanding to accommodate population growth.

Dashti owns two investment properties in Adelaide, but works for a business in Thebarton that exports medical equipment overseas.

“According to my experience in 20 years of international business, I think there is still a little bit of space to make the city better,” the qualified biomedical engineer says.

“We need to cut red ribbons and fast-track development approvals to encourage more investment.

“Adelaide is a green city and we should keep it that way, but we can keep green areas while we develop and enhance.”

Dashti says he is a “big advocate for multiculturalism” and the council should better engage with community groups.

“This will lead to more events in the city, more activation of spaces that may not necessarily be activated and I believe would contribute to the liveability of our city,” he says.

Theo Vlassis

City East IGA owner Theo Vlassis has put his hand up for council after running an unsuccessful 2002 state election campaign against Labor’s Tom Koutsantonis in the seat of West Torrens.

InDaily attempted to contact Vlassis for comment. 

City residents Francesco Barbaro and Kelvin Spencer, and North Adelaide resident Ingmar Bookless-Pratz have also nominated.

InDaily attempted to contact all nominees.

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