Armstrong to continue on Ararat council
Cr Mclean finished her first mayoral address on a personal note, touching on her experience as a family-violence survivor.
“I lived with this family violence on a farm for 40 years and I dealt with the outcomes and the repercussions of that and the damage to my family, my neighbours and other people in my life,” she said.
“It has caused damage for me that means I’m feisty, that I’m gun-shy, that I’ll often say things and get jumpy about what’s ahead for me.
“But what it’s given me is a passionate desire to look after the underdog and a clear desire to speak up for those who cannot speak.”
Cr Mclean said moving forward, she accepted the municipality’s rating strategy was out of her control and would be determined by a panel of experts and an independent chairperson.
She said the municipality’s residents were concerned with a wide range of issues, including road maintenance and services.
“I won’t be single issue and I’m really grateful for the support of councillors who have had a difficult time this year,” she said. “People didn’t sign on for these difficulties as a new councillor, but we have to work together and I’m keen to do so.”
Cr Allgood was elected deputy mayor unopposed.
Mr Hooper said his core values prohibited him from serving with the majority of councillors, particularly with Crs Mclean and Allgood ‘still facing significant code of conduct charges’.
“I’ve taken the view that I’m not prepared to be associated with people whom I don’t trust and people I don’t hold in any regard,” he said.
“In saying that, Cr Beale and Cr Armstrong have served this community with distinction.
“They’ve worked incredibly hard in their duties, so let’s not confuse those two with the majority.
“I’ve literally had dozens and dozens of phone calls and messages and I’m obviously very grateful for the support I have received right across the community.”
Mr Hooper called on Ararat Rural City residents to ‘hold the mayor accountable for her actions’.
“I wish the new chief executive and of course the monitor, who are people I hold in the highest regard, the best of luck dealing with the majority of council.”
Mr Bawden said he accepted Cr Hooper’s resignation yesterday morning.
He said Cr Hooper was to be applauded for his service to the municipality, including six terms as mayor.
“Although I have only known Cr Hooper for a short period of time, he has proven to be a very dignified and well-respected member of this organisation and it is unfortunate that he will no longer be a part of council,” he said.
“He has worked closely with many people across Ararat Rural City and speaking with colleagues about the work Cr Hooper achieved, particularly during his time as mayor, it is clear what a fantastic advocate he was for this region.”