Mayor goes on
Term length causes division between ward councillors
STRATHBOGIE Shire councillors voted last Tuesday night to reappoint Amanda McClaren as their mayor, which will make her the first to serve four consecutive years in the role since 1997.
A statutory council meeting was held to determine the spot, in which Cr McClaren received the only nomination by her fellow councillor Deb Bower.
It was decided Cr McClaren would lead the council to the end of its four year term, after much discussion was held around whether to have the mayor serve a one or two-year term.
An initial motion was moved by Councillor Malcolm Little in which he was in support of a twoyear term, on the basis of stability and continuity for the council.
“I feel that over the next two years we’re running through a fairly tumultuous time again,” Cr Little said.
“It’ll be the greatest benefit to the Strathbogie Shire.”
After being put to a vote which saw 4- 3 in favour, council endorsed a twoyear term, with councillors Deb Bower, Kate Stothers and Alistair Thomson opting for the default of a one- year term.
Cr Thomson said he argued against the two-year term, not only because a whole myriad of circumstances can change within two years, but also because it will mean that Cr McClaren will serve out the entire term of this council as mayor.
“The council is comprised of individuals with a wide array of skills,” Cr Thomson said.
“However, by declaring a further two-year term for Cr McClaren, the pathway is now closed for the council to benefit from a mayor with a different skill-set.”
Mentioning he would not have been a candidate, Cr Thomson said he had no doubt that Cr McClaren will apply herself fully to the role and will continue her strong performance of advocacy and civic leadership.
“My hope for the next two years is that there is improved government by listening to different points of view and by believing that better decisions are made by consensus,” Cr Thomson said.
“Unfortunately, pushing through the two-year mayoral term, doesn’t suggest that consensus will prevail.”
Council resolved not to elect a deputy mayor for the next 12 months, providing the opportunity for ward councillors to rotate mayoral duties in Cr McClaren’s absence.
They also determined a motor vehicle would be provided for use by the Mayor, with a sacrificed amount of $200 per month from the mayoral allowance.
All ordinary council meetings in 2019 were decided to now be held in Euroa, with appointments of councillors to other community committees also made.
You can access those and the meeting minutes online at strathhbogie.vic.gov.au