Election time for Bega Valley Shire Council’s next mayor

NEW LEADERS: Bega Valley Shire's councillors will vote for the next mayor and deputy mayor in an election on September 17.
NEW LEADERS: Bega Valley Shire's councillors will vote for the next mayor and deputy mayor in an election on September 17.

An election is looming to decide who will be the next mayor for Bega Valley Shire Council. 

While some councillors remained tight-lipped on whether they would stand in the election and who they planned to vote for, there was some support for the incumbent mayor, Kristy McBain.

“Unlike the federal parties, we think it’s good to keep your leader,” Cr Robyn Bain said on Monday. 

Unlike the federal parties, we think it’s good to keep your leader.

Cr Robyn Bain

Cr Bain did not think anyone other than the incumbent would stand for mayor, and said when considering who to vote for she would take into account the fact that while the past two years of council had “certainly been robust”, they had also been productive. 

Mayor Kristy McBain, who is finishing off her first term in the position, confirmed she would stand again at next week’s election.

“I hope that [my colleagues] will vote for me,” she said.  

Deputy Mayor Liz Seckold would not comment on whether or not she would stand for her position again.

But she said Mayor Kristy McBain would get her vote for mayor, saying she had “done a marvellous job”.

Cr Tony Allen said he would “wait and see over the next few days” before deciding whether he would apply for mayor or deputy roles. 

Cr Russell Fitzpatrick said he would only stand for either position if he was nominated, while Cr Mitchell Nadin said he was open to standing for the position of deputy. 

Crs Bain, Cathy Griff, Jo Dodds and Sharon Tapscott confirmed they would not contest for mayor or deputy.

When Cr Tapscott was asked who she would vote for she said she had “no trouble with the status quo”, while Cr Dodds said she would not make up her mind on the matter until she heard the candidates’ pitches at the election.

While the election will take place on September 17, council’s general meeting will be held two days later. 

Cr Kristy McBain said the reason for this was to grant a degree of separation between the two events.

Council’s general manager Leanne Barnes said there would be “minimal costs associated with the holding of the mayoral election”.

“As it is a meeting with only minimal items there are no catering costs and no additional staff costs (as staff would be in attendance at the meeting on a Wednesday),” she said.

“There is the prospect of some minimal opportunity costs.

“There will be some councillor travel allowance costs (if councillors submit a claim) – this would be in the order of a maximum of $300 if all councillors submit a claim, however a number do not.”

Ms Barnes said the two meetings were not usually held on separate days and prior to 2016 the mayor was elected by councillors every year. 

“This meeting was traditionally held on a Wednesday as part of or in a meeting prior to the ordinary meeting,” she said.

“From 2016 legislatively mayors are elected every two years for those councils that do not have popularly elected mayors.”

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