Coun­cil is now com­plete

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

The Ber­ri­gan Shire of­fi­cially wel­comed its new­est coun­cil­lor last Wed­nes­day, with Roger Reynold­son of­fi­cially sworn in.

Cr Reynold­son was elected to the coun­cil in last month’s by-elec­tion to re­place Bernard Curtin who passed away in April.

At his first coun­cil meet­ing since the elec­tion, Cr Reynold­son last week pledged the oath and will now par­take in six weeks of in­duc­tions.

He said it was a ‘‘com­fort­able’’ first coun­cil meet­ing.

‘‘I don’t know what ex­pec­ta­tions I re­ally had, but there wasn’t re­ally any­thing there I didn’t un­der­stand,’’ he said..

‘‘It’s a learn­ing process and you don’t know what you don’t know un­til you find out, but I had no trou­ble and all the ques­tions I asked were an­swered.

‘‘I knew half of the coun­cil­lors prior to the meet­ing and I’m con­fi­dent I can work with them.

‘‘They all seem ami­able sort of peo­ple; there wasn’t any­one throw­ing things at me.’’

It was a lively first meet­ing for Cr Reynold­son, with the coun­cil strongly de­bat­ing a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for the Straw­berry Fields Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at Tocumwal, which has been shrouded in con­tro­versy over the years.

‘‘It does seem to be a busy coun­cil, and I don’t have a prob­lem with that,’’ he said.

‘‘I have to make a de­ci­sion and can’t guar­an­tee ev­ery­body is go­ing to like it but I’m happy to put my hand up.

‘‘I haven’t come in with an agenda.’’

Cr Reynold­son was to be of­fi­cially sworn in ear­lier, but at the time of his elec­tion he was hol­i­day­ing in Europe.

He said it has been an ex­cit­ing fort­night since his re­turn from over­seas ear­lier this month, say­ing he had al­ready been curt­sied to twice.

‘‘I had a res­i­dent turn up to my house to have a say in Ber­ri­gan, and I thought ‘wow they’re al­ready com­ing out to the farm to check it out’.

‘‘There have been plenty of peo­ple com­ing up say­ing ‘con­grat­u­la­tions, but this is what I want done’.

‘‘I think there is a com­mu­nity ex­pec­ta­tion of me to per­form and turn up to events.

‘‘There have been plenty of re­quests al­ready to at­tend meet­ings and that’s part of the job; and I am aim­ing to get along.

‘‘I haven’t worked out how many I can get to yet, and we’re still work­ing out what com­mit­tees and del­e­ga­tions I’ll be re­quired to at­tend.’’

Cr Reynold­son has al­ready com­mit­ted to at­tend­ing the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment An­nual Con­fer­ence in Oc­to­ber with the mayor and deputy mayor. He said he’s al­ready been ap­proached by com­mu­nity mem­bers to run for mayor at in­ter­nal elec­tions in Septem­ber, but said it is still too early in his lo­cal gov­ern­ment ca­reer to take on the job.

Cr Roger Reynold­son (right) sign­ing his dec­la­ra­tion oath with his fel­low coun­cil­lors (from left) Ross Bodey, John Tay­lor, Daryl Mor­ris, John Bruce, Mayor Matt Han­nan, Colin Jones, De­nis Glanville and gen­eral man­ager Rowan Perkins watch­ing on.

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