Cherie’s first in Rod­ney

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

Cherie Craw­ford be­came Rod­ney Shire Coun­cil’s first woman pres­i­dent in its 106 years at Fri­day night’s statu­tory meet­ing.

A coucil­lor for three years, Cr Craw­ford also es­tab­lished a prece­dent that will be hard to fol­low in that her hus­band An­drew is also a coun­cil­lor— and for­mer Shire Pres­i­dent.

Cr Craw­ford was the only nom­i­na­tion for the po­si­tion.

A for­mer busi­ness­woman, Cr Craw­ford re­cently com­pleted a univer­sity Bach­e­lor of Arts course in Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment.

She pre­vi­ously gained an as­so­ciate diploma in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment at Goul­burn Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

She and An­drew live at one of Mooroopna’s de­vel­op­ing es­tates, Craig­muir Lakes.

Re­cently she was elected un­op­posed for the North Rid­ing, but when she re­placed Cr Ch­eryl Phillips three years ago there were five can­di­dates for the seat she won.

Be­sides tak­ing a great in­ter­est in the com­mu­nity ser­vices area since she joined coun­cil.

Cr Craw­ford has also ini­ti­ated meet­ings with North Rid­ing ratepay­ers and res­i­dents to break down bar­ri­ers.

Co-op­er­a­tion with other coun­cils and the res­i­dents has been a trade­mark of her ac­tiv­i­ties as a coun­cil­lor.

She has spent much time learn­ing more about var­i­ous as­pects of a coun­cil­lor’s work and is on the ex­ec­u­tive of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

Cr Craw­ford

spoke glow­ingly of the state of the shire as she en­tered of­fice and said it was not just the present coun­cil­lors who were re­spon­si­ble.

She re­ferred to the fu­ture vi­sion of for­mer coun­cil­lors John Gray and Ian Cold­well, who at­tended the meet­ing.

Al­though there were dif­fer­ences of opin­ion around the coun­cil ta­ble, all coun­cil­lors served for the bet­ter­ment of the shire.

Re­fer­ring to the ef­fects of Gov­ern­ment cut­backs on the shire, Cr Craw­ford said the changes caused by cut­backs opened up op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­no­va­tive plan­ning in var­i­ous ar­eas.

She fore­cast that the com­mu­nity ser­vices area, in which she has taken a great in­ter­est, would be a mine­field in years to come.

‘‘They are putting back more and more lo­cal gov­ern­ment; con­sul­ta­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are very im­por­tant at this time.’’

Cr Craw­ford said Rod­ney was a leader in coun­try Vic­to­ria for com­mu­nity ser­vices, but said only seven per cent of the shire’s rate was spent on it, com­pared with a state av­er­age of eight per cent.

‘‘The fu­ture is about do­ers. We have to be pro-ac­tive and we need to look at the ser­vices we pro­vide,’’ she said.

The first civic re­cep­tion for the new shire pres­i­dent was for the Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion state pres­i­dent, and she will wel­come Vic­to­rian Premier Jeff Ken­nett, on his visit to the Shire on Thurs­day.

Ris­ing stars: Four women who will lead their com­mu­ni­ties as Mayor or Shire Pres­i­dent in 1993-94 were at Rod­ney Shire Coun­cil’s statu­tory meet­ing on Fri­day night. They are Kyabram Mayor Mary Bow­man, Cr Cherie Craw­ford (Rod­ney Shire), Cr Jose Bohn (Waranga Shire) and Cr Jeanette Pow­ell (Shep­par­ton Shire). Crs Bow­man and Bohn are serv­ing their sec­ond con­sec­u­tive terms as lead­ers and Crs Craw­ford and Pow­ell their first terms.

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