DEPUTY Mayor, Paul O’Brien missed out on chairing Tuesday night’s council meeting, with Cr Tammy Atkins pipping him for the job via a lucky dip.
The council chamber descended into farce in the absence of Mayor Rozi Parisotto, with the remaining six councillors left to decide who should chair the meeting.
They were split three all, with Crs Fidge, O’Brien and Noel Amery supporting the deputy mayor, while newcomer Cr Col McClounan and former mayor Don Joyce supporting Cr Atkins.
To break the deadlock both names were written on pieces of paper, with acting chief executive officer, Kelvin Spiller, left to pull a name out of the box.
Cr Atkins won the job, assuming the role of acting chair, which she carried out with aplomb, despite having to excuse herself from one matter due to a conflict of interest in her role as a board member of North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA).
For that matter council had to elect another acting chair, which Cr Paul O’Brien won.
Later in the meeting questions were asked by the public about the roles and responsibilities of the acting mayor position.
Acting director – sustainability, Peter Mangan explained the deputy mayor does not automatically assume the role as chair of a council meeting in the mayor’s absence.
“We do have a deputy mayor in Cr O’Brien but the Local Government Act still requires that someone be nominated to be acting mayor at a meeting so it doesn’t flow that they have statutory responsibilities as such,” he said.
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