MAYOR SEEK­ING AN­OTHER TERM

O’KEEFFE KEEN ON AN­OTHER TERM IN TOP JOB; AB­DUL­LAH MIGHT NOT RECONTEST

Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Moir

Kim O’Keeffe has an­nounced she would like an­other year as City of Greater Shep­par­ton’s mayor.

And she may be the only coun­cil­lor putting their hand up for the role when it is up for re­elec­tion next month.

The first-term coun­cil­lor who was first-past-the-post at the 2016 election has an­nounced she would like to be re-elected to the role, say­ing an­other year would lever­age steps for­ward.

Mean­while, Seema Ab­dul­lah has in­di­cated she is un­likely to seek an­other year as the city’s deputy, say­ing she would like to see other coun­cil­lors of­fered the op­por­tu­nity.

Vic­to­ria’s state election is not the only one in Shep­par­ton dur­ing Novem­ber; Next month the mayor and deputy may­oral po­si­tions will be voted on by coun­cil­lors, both po­si­tions ex­pected to be elected for one-year terms.

But the city’s mayor has added her voice to the call for two-year may­oral terms be­ing em­braced go­ing for­ward.

Cr O’Keeffe said she had in­formed her fel­low coun­cil­lors of her wish to be re-elected next month.

The News con­tacted all city coun­cil­lors dur­ing the past fort­night.

Crs Bruce Gio­vanetti, Den­nis Patterson and Fern Sum­mer said they would not be putting their hands up for ei­ther po­si­tion, while Cr Les Orosz­vary said he was yet to de­cide on the mat­ter.

Coun­cil­lors said they would wait to see who nom­i­nated for ei­ther po­si­tion, hear ar­gu­ments from can­di­dates and dis­cuss ideas be­fore pub­licly back­ing can­di­dates.

Cr O’Keeffe was the only con­firmed can­di­date for next month’s may­oral role from those who re­sponded to The News.

She was elected as mayor last Novem­ber in a vote that went down to the wire.

‘‘The first year, you learn the po­si­tion, build on im­por­tant re­la­tion­ships, lob­by­ing . . .’’

Cr O’Keeffe said she had be­come com­fort­able in the role, that an­other year as mayor would help build on skills, ad­vo­cacy and re­la­tion­ships forged.

‘‘I want to con­tinue (that),’’ she said.

‘‘I had a great year, think I cer­tainly would be the right per­son (to con­tinue).’’

The mayor said she be­lieved one-year may­oral terms were ‘‘too short.’’

‘‘I think it does need a twoyear term . . . there’s a fair bit of learn­ing at the be­gin­ning,’’ she said.

Asked this week whether she would recontest the role of deputy mayor, Cr Ab­dul­lah said, ‘‘at this stage I’m not go­ing to put up my hand’’. ‘‘I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed it. ‘‘I have a feel­ing there might be other coun­cil­lors in­ter­ested in it . . . there should be an op­por­tu­nity for them as well.

‘‘I’m happy for them to give it a go.’’

She said she had en­joyed a ‘‘fan­tas­tic one year as deputy’’ adding ‘‘all el­e­ments of this role I have en­joyed thor­oughly’’.

Asked whether she had con­sid­ered run­ning for mayor, Cr Ab­dul­lah said ‘‘not this year,’’ but re­newed her as­pi­ra­tions for the po­si­tion, say­ing ‘‘I do as­pire at some stage’’.

‘‘I’m very pleased to see how Kim has taken up role, with en­ergy and hard work.’’

Look­ing to fu­ture: City of Greater Shep­par­ton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and deputy Seema Ab­dul­lah are seen at a coun­cil meeting.

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