Mayoral elections across Ballarat and the Central Highlands have wrapped up with a host of new faces taking over the top job for the region’s smaller municipalities.
Golden Plains Shire, Moorabool Shire, Hepburn and Pyrenees Shire all elected new leaders for the next 12 months.
It followed an acrimonious election in Ararat Rural City, which saw former mayor Paul Hooper resign from council as Cr Glenda McLean won the majority of votes.
Holcombe ward councillor John Cottrell was elected Hepburn Shire’s new mayor.
He was elected at a statutory meeting on Wednesday night at Daylesford, to serve as mayor for the 2017-18 term, taking over from Cr Sebastian Klein.
Cr Cottrell previously served as deputy mayor for the 2016-17 year.
He said he hoped to look closely at how council engaged the community.
“I want to make sure the process of engagement is one that does engage and listen and understand the meaning that is provided by the community as a group, not necessarily just the loudest voices,” Cr Cottrell said.
Cr Helena Kirby has taken the mayoral position at Golden Plains Shire.
She replaced Cr Des Phelan, who served as mayor for the 2016-17 year.
Cr Kirby said she wanted to consult and collaborate more with our communities.
“Living in a smaller local community gives me the chance to hear direct from locals about a whole range of issues, including how well council is meeting their expectations,” she said.
““We will have to work hard as a team with my fellow councillors and with senior management and our new CEO to anticipate the challenges that no doubt lie ahead and to make the most of the opportunities that will also arise.”
Central Moorabool ward councillor Paul Tatchell was successful in his bid to take the Moorabool Shire mayor job.
He will be support by deputy mayor and East Moorabool ward councillor John Keogh.
Cr David Clark won the vote for Pyrenees Shire mayor.
He will take over from former mayor Ron Eason who served from 2016-17.