Mayor goes on

Term length causes di­vi­sion between ward coun­cil­lors

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - [email protected] ne­me­ BY GRACE EVANS

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 strath­h­bo­

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