The town hall bells rang out on Monday evening, heralding the appointment of Cr Ben Taylor as the City of Ballarat mayor.
Cr Belinda Coates was also confirmed as deputy mayor, replacing Cr Jim Rinaldi.
The close of Cr Samantha McIntosh's tenure of the council's top job - she was the second longest serving mayor so far this century behind David Vendy - came swiftly in the end.
Following a welcome to country by local Aboriginal artist Deanne Gilson, the first time the ceremony has taken place at a Ballarat mayoral election, councillors swiftly got to business.
From seven nominations a week before, there ended up being just three people who stood for mayoral election in front of a gallery packed with media and the councillors' family and friends.
Cr McIntosh's name ultimately did not feature in that run-off, a late withdrawal after declaring her intention to stand on Friday.
It was Cr Amy Johnson, an early backer for Cr Taylor, who made his new mayoral role official. As the acting chairperson, she oversaw the crucial vote - only open to the city's nine councillors - which saw Cr Taylor gain the required majority in the first round. He was backed by Crs Johnson, Des Hudson, Belinda Coates, and Daniel Moloney.
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"It is my great pleasure to declare councillor Taylor mayor," Cr Johnson said. After a swift change into mayoral robes and chain, Cr Taylor returned to the council chamber.
In his inaugural speech in the office, he paid tribute to his predecessor, saying: "I would like to thank Cr McIntosh for her dedication. We appreciate your contribution as mayor."
After thanking his children and wife Christine, Cr Taylor outlined some of his priorities for his one-year term as mayor, the last of this current four-year council.
He stressed his commitment to rejuvenating the CBD, making particular mention of the Bakery Hill Urban Renewal Plan, which goes before council on Wednesday. He said successfully implementing the council's new Smart Parking plan would be critical for the reactivation of the city.
He also scotched one particular recycling rumour: "Six bins isn't going to work for Ballarat," he said, saying that recycling was another priority, particularly with the existing contract with Australian Paper Recovery only extending for one year.
"Thank you very much for the privilege of putting me in this position," he concluded.
Cr Belinda Coates was then subsequently voted in as a deputy mayor, with voting going along exactly the same lines as the mayoral vote. She saw off the three votes for Cr McIntosh and the one for Cr Mark Harris.
Cr Coates, who previously served as deputy mayor in 2015/16, said her focus would remain helping the council achieve its carbon neutrality targets.
The most extended speech of the evening came from the outgoing mayor, Cr Samantha McIntosh, who thanked her family, colleagues and council officers in her first speech in a council meeting for three years without the mayoral chains.
She admitted to feeling "a sense of loss" at not retaining her mayoral role.
"I am as proud as punch to have worked with Justine [Linley, the CEO] and her team," she said.
"I believed I have done everything I can do to fulfil my role in that time."
You were there for all the community, regardless of where they came from. You have been the envy of so many councils, who were wishing they had their own Samantha.Cr Jim Rinaldi
The outgoing deputy mayor Jim Rinalid paid warm tribute to his colleague.
"You were there for all the community, regardless of where they came from. You have been the envy of so many councils, who were wishing they had their own Samantha.
"It has been such an honour and privilege to be by your side as deputy," he said.
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