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At least two councillors to nominate for Moira Shire mayor tonight

Councillors Alex Monk and Brian Keenan will put their hands up for mayor of Moira Shire at an election tonight.

JESSICA GRIMBLE November 7, 2012 4:00am

Councillors Alex Monk and Brian Keenan will put their hands up for mayor of Moira Shire.

Newcomer Kevin Bourke, who gained the most votes in last month’s election, could also be in the mix for the top job.

The new nine-person council took an oath of office last week and will elect their leader at a special meeting tonight.

Immediate past mayor Cr Monk said the role was one which brought her great enjoyment.

She said it was a privilege to lobby state and federal governments on behalf of the community.

Cr Monk wanted to promote more community engagement between councillors and residents.

‘‘I want to try and get better community engagement happening by taking the councillors out to the smaller communities,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s not always a matter of the people coming to us — we need to go to them.’’

Cr Keenan said the newly elected council was a good balance of people representing towns across the shire.

He said a mayor had not come from Yarrawonga for at least the past 10 years, and sometimes the town felt removed from the rest of the shire.

‘‘The way to encourage the people of Yarrawonga is to include them, and the way to include them is to have a mayor in their town,’’ Cr Keenan said.

Cr Bourke was keeping his cards close to his chest.

But he acknowledged that topping the poll was ‘‘humbling’’ and he was overwhelmed by the support he received.

‘‘I’m the first to admit I have fired some bullets over the years, but now it’s time to throw my hat in the ring,’’ he said in reference to being elected to council.

Cr Wendy Buck said she would nominate for deputy mayor — a position the council can opt to appoint.

Crs Marie Martin and Don McPhee want to focus on learning the ropes as new councillors.

Crs Peter Mansfield, Gary Cleveland and Ed Cox did not return calls before the Courier went to press.

Residents can attend tonight’s meeting at 6pm at Cobram Civic Centre in Punt Rd.

The election will be by show of hands, unless councillors opt for a secret ballot.

The Courier will announce the mayor at www.cobramcourier.com.au following tonight’s meeting. A profile on the new mayor will appear in next week’s edition.

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