BOTH Councillors Tammy Atkins and Don Joyce have said their opposition to Councillor Paul O’Brien’s appointment as deputy mayor was “nothing personal”.
The Rural City of Wangaratta appointed Cr O’Brien deputy mayor on Tuesday night.
There was no election as-such, but Cr O’Brien’s appointment was endorsed by four councillors, with Crs Atkins and Joyce the only ones to speak against it.
Cr Julian Fidge put forward the motion that Cr O’Brien be appointed deputy mayor, for a term coinciding with that of the mayor.
“It would be prudent to have a deputy mayor to carry on with the duties of mayor as the need arises to make it as seamless as possible for council,” he said.
Cr Atkins labelled the move a distraction.
“We’ve got a lot of bigger issues we need to be dealing with right now, such as the council plan, our council budget,” she said.
“The Rural City of Wangaratta has only once had a deputy mayor to my knowledge, that was in 2002 when Kerrin Chambers was deputy to mayor, Irene Grant.
“Since that time it has been tradition that we do no have a deputy mayor, that where the mayor cannot fill that role, the job is rotated among other councillors so that everyone has a chance at undertaking higher duties.
“In speaking against this motion, I am in no way speaking against Cr O’Brien.”
“We have a new councillor coming on board next month, we need to start acting like a team.
“When the seventh person could be around the table then they could be part of the decision.”
Cr Don Joyce also said he had “nothing against Cr O’Brien”.
“I’ve always had the view it’s a position that’s good if it’s shared around to give others the experience of stepping in for the mayor,” Cr Joyce said.
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