COUNCILLOR Eddie Siapu is our new city mayor.
He was elected yesterday following the recent ousting of Wilson Mamae, whose leadership was tainted with numerous allegations of mismanagement.
Fourteen councilors threw their support behind Siapu against the six that backed contender Reginald Ngati.
This is a welcome development after all that the council had been through since last year.
At least there’s now a new captain at the helm.
But here’s the thing.
Siapu is very much part of the Mamae leadership that was responsible for the mess.
So that question is: what difference is he bringing to the council and the people of Honiara?
Perhaps that’s the challenge Siapu has to deal with if his leadership is going to be different from Mamae.
As rate-payers, the people of Honiara want a city council that is responsive and councilors who take their responsibilities seriously.
Observations have it that some of the current councilors are basically in there for the meeting allowances and ward grants.
They hardly bring any good to the city council.
Councillors should be the ones driving change at the council.
They should be the ones coming up with policies and by-laws that will strengthen the operations of the council.
They must be the ones leading and directing the council.
This is an opportunity for Siapu, a two-term councilor, to prove his worth.
He must show to the residents of Honiara that he’s different from Mamae.
Interest of the people of Honiara must be always at the forefront of any decisions he and his executive make.
He must stand for the people, not his cronies and business friends.
Honiara is now overcrowded.
And people tend to do things as they wish, giving no regard to existing by-laws.
The council must be steadfast in the application and monitoring of its bylaws.
Illegal betel nut stalls and sellers must be removed from the road-sides and along the streets.
There is urgent need for order to be restored in Honiara.
Siapu knows this too well.
Now is his turn to show leadership and address the pressing issues confronting the city.