The new Lismore Council met last night for the first time and one of the first orders of business was to elect a Deputy Mayor. The position will be held until September this year.
The General Manager Michael Donnelly said he had received two nominations for deputy mayor – Cr Peter Colby supported by Cr Jensen, and Cr Cook supported by councillor Ekins and Cr Bird. The GM invited both candidates to speak.
Cr Peter Colby said he wanted to honour the fact that he had been nominated to stand for deputy mayor. ‘I think the people of Lismore have sent a clear message to everybody that there needs to be change.
Fresh eyes and ears
‘I see myself as a set of fresh eyes. I see myself as a fresh set of ears, and I see myself being a major contributor to the organisation of Council.
Cr Colby said that he believes that bringing fresh ideas and particularly coming from a very strong corporate background, he can actually assist in strategic direction of the organisation. ‘I don’t want to harbour on the fact that I think that there’s a great opportunity for Lismore, and I think that with the new council and the team of the old existing counsellors, and the new council team, I think that we can actually make a sustainable environmental area that is very precious to the people and I know that it’s a factor. It is very precious to the people of Lismore. I think that we need the opportunity to grow and be sustainable and exciting for the future generation.
‘So my role, I see is supporting the whole of the council and the councillors, and the people who are in the staff to actually move forward to develop a much more sustainable and exciting era for Lismore.’
Honoured to be nominated
Cr Darlene Cook also said she was very honoured to be nominated for deputy mayor. ‘I thank the councillors who have nominated me for this.
‘I want to offer this council and our new Mayor, the experience, the insights and the knowledge that I’ve acquired in my last term of council, the knowledge of how this council works – the processes and protocols that I can assist you with and steer you through some of the early stages of this council as a resource for you.
‘I see it as a mentoring role I can use to assist you to find your way through the complex of council process and procedures. I want to reach out and build relationships between returning councillors and the new councillors. I think it’s vitally important for the working future of this council as a whole united, productive team. I think it’s vitally essential.
‘I see the Deputy Mayor’s role as being essential to that process.
‘Five years ago, I decided if I wanted to do the really best job I could as a representative of this community I would make it a full-time job. So this is what I have done for the past five years. This is my job. This is my vocation. This is my occupation. I’m available to resource this council, to the committees and the community full time. I have the time to do the job.
Cr Cook said she felt the role of Deputy Mayor is not only to support the Mayor. I know from three years ago, this as pre-COVID, the Mayor was a full-time job. The deputy mayor was a full-time job. It was flat out with the demands of the community upon you – there are dozens of invitations that the Mayor cannot attend and that is the role of Deputy to represent there as well.
‘I have experience, I’ve served previously as the Deputy Mayor in 2019 and 2020. I would offer that experience to this Council, to the new councillors, to the new Mayor, and I ask for your support.’
Michael Donnelly said that the Councillors had decided on an open ballot. Not unexpectedly, by a show of hands – Mayor Steve Krieg, Cr Peter Colby, Cr Jeri Hall, Cr Andrew Gordon, Cr Electra Jensen, Cr Andrew Bing and Cr Big Rob – voted in Cr Peter Colby as the new Deputy Mayor.