Shires mayor race is on
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Jim Fawcett will be stepping down from his mayoral position and the battle is on to replace this position.
Cr Jeanette Harding appears to be the favourite to win – having assumed the role of deputy mayor during the past term – and will have the support of Cr Robert Newton at the election.
Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks appears to be the only possibility but he is running second favourite to Cr Harding.
Outgoing mayor Cr Fawcett wished his fellow councillors who are putting their hands up for the position the very best and will support whoever is elected at the mayoral election tomorrow (November 5).
“We still have a lot of work to do around values,” Cr Fawcett said.
“I trust we will continue to work on that.”
Cr Fawcett described his experience as both rewarding and challenging and is looking forward to continuing his work with council.
Cr newton said he will be supporting Jeanette Harding.
“She’s quite good at the job. She’s done it before and has a lot of contacts. She has proven she is very capable,” he said.
Cr Newton will not be running for the mayor’s position.
Cr Harding’s capabilities were also voiced by Cr Andrew McEwen, who said she is strongly involved in the community.
“I’m not sure who is running though,” Cr McEwen said.
“We will have to wait and see.”
Despite Cr McEwen’s decision not to run for mayor, he will have the support of Cr Don Hill for deputy mayor tomorrow.
“I haven’t decided yet who I will support for mayor,” Cr Hill said.
“But I will be supporting Andrew McEwen for deputy mayor because he has the strategic vision to move the shire forward.”
Cr Hill will not be running for mayor as he is currently working as a full time teacher.
Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks is keeping his opinions strictly confidentially between himself and the councillors but shouldn’t be ruled out for the position as mayor.
“My view is the councillors generally get it right,” Cr Hutchinson-Brooks said.
“Whoever they decide will be the right decision.”
The mayoral election will take place at 10.30am tomorrow.
The Star tried to contact Councillors Jeanette Harding, Mohya Davies, Lorraine Brunt and Kieran Kennedy but they didn’t return calls before going to print.
Rankine to run again
Current Bass Coast Shire mayor Cr Neil Rankine expects competition from one or two of his colleagues when he stands again for the role of mayor at the statutory meeting on November 19.
Cr Bradley Drew and current deputy mayor Cr Kimberley Brown have not ruled out standing for the role of mayor.
The remaining councillors, Cr Andrew Phillips, Cr Jordan Crugnale, Cr Phil Wright and Cr Clare Le Serve, indicated to The Star they will not nominate for mayor.
“I will be putting my hand up again for the mayoral election on November 19 at 4pm,” Cr Rankine said.
“I feel a lot has been achieved in the last year, and I have learnt a lot about the opportunities and difficulties that we face.
“Specifically, though, I believe I have identified some significant actions we need to progress to really cement the shire on track for future prosperity.
Cr Rankine said he expects other councillors to stand against him for the role of mayor.
“I understand there will be one or two other candidates for the role, and I wish them all the best.”
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