New guard take reins of coun­cil

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - War­ren Hately

First-term coun­cil­lor Pam Town­shend was elected Shire pres­i­dent on Wed­nes­day night, while new­comer Ju­lia Mel­drum from Cowaramup was sworn in as her deputy.

Al­though Cr Town­shend nom­i­nated her­self, the two women were vir­tu­ally guar­an­teed the jobs with the sup­port of al­lies Mike Smart and Naomi God­den.

The se­cret bal­lot gave four votes to each, in­di­vid­u­ally trump­ing busi­ness­woman Pauline McLeod for the two po­si­tions.

Ms McLeod was nom­i­nated by for­mer Shire pres­i­dent and re­turned coun­cil­lor Ian Earl, who told the Times he didn’t con­test the pres­i­dency be­cause he knew the num­bers were against him.

The new four-mem­ber power bloc on the seven-mem­ber coun­cil leaves the con­ser­va­tives in the mi­nor­ity and erst­while green coun­cil­lor Peter Lane as an in­de­pen­dent.

Al­though vot­ing choices were not dis­closed to the Times, un­hap­pi­ness about the new bloc cam­paign­ing for rookie can­di­dates was aired on so­cial me­dia by ousted deputy Kylie Ken­naugh who, along with Os­ming­ton’s Felicity Haynes failed to win re­turn tick­ets at last week­end’s elec­tion (see Page 3).

On so­cial me­dia, Ms Ken­naugh lamented the elec­tion of Cr Town­shend for the pres­i­dency be­cause she had only lived in the re­gion “ap­prox five years” (sic) and Cr

Mel­drum as deputy de­spite be­ing “elected first time to coun­cil five days ago”.

Cr Town­shend told her peers she un­der­stood three col­leagues did not vote for her in the top role, but be­lieved the new coun­cil could work pro­duc­tively with Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River staff as “one in­clu­sive body”.

“I look for­ward to a cou­ple of years ex­cite­ment and work­ing to­gether,” she said on Wed­nes­day night. Cr Earl took a back seat from his pre­vi­ous high-pro­file roles on the coun­cil’s stand­ing com­mit­tees, in­clud­ing the Bush­fire Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, on which he has played a lead­ing role in­formed by years as a se­nior vol­un­teer fire­fighter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.