A second Murray Shire councillor has quit, leaving council to fill two positions at a by-election in May.By Ruth Clayton
Sue Mulcahy has resigned from Murray Shire Council, the second councillor to do so in a week.
Brian Sharp resigned from his position, citing health reasons, on Monday.
It is the first time in recent Murray Shire Council history that two councillors have resigned within one week.
A by-election to fill the two casual vacancies is expected in May.
Mrs Mulcahy emailed her resignation to mayor Tom Weyrich and general manager Greg Murdoch on Thursday, three days after Mr Sharp’s resignation.
In a prepared statement to the Riv, Mrs Mulcahy said she took time to carefully consider her position in light of Mr Sharp’s resignation and the need to conduct a by-election.
‘‘Due to an unforseen increase in business commitments, I believe I am unable to commit fully the time and effort required to fulfil the role of a councillor,’’ Mrs Mulcahy said.
‘‘I have therefore decided to tender my resignation so my vacancy can be filled in the forthcoming by-election.’’
It was Mrs Mulcahy’s first term on council
Cr Weyrich described council as ‘‘trying’’, but stopped short of calling it dysfunctional.
He said council needed to move on and he believed it could do better in the future.
‘‘The meetings haven’t been all that productive,’’ he said.
‘‘I take part of the blame.
‘‘We’ve had rescission motions and backwards and forwards to-ing and fro-ing of the same subject.
‘‘We’ve dealt with several subjects over the last few months.
‘‘I probably should’ve drawn a line in the sand a while ago.’’
Cr Weyrich said it took time for councillors to work together as a cohesive group, and council was moving in the right direction.
‘‘I think we’re getting there slowly,’’ he said.
‘‘Last Tuesday’s meeting was probably been the best one we had.
‘‘We dealt with a number of issues once and for all.’’
Cr Weyrich said he was naturally disappointed with the resignation and being a councillor was not an easy job.
He said people had started drawing all sorts of conclusions and scenarios about the situation.
‘‘But I’m taking it for what it is,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
‘‘She’s given me an explanation.
‘‘I accept that and we’ll see what happens at by-election.’’
Cr Weyrich said he had nothing but praise for Mrs Mulcahy while she was a councillor.
He has already been approached by people contemplating standing for the positions.
‘‘I’ve given them the best advice I can,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
‘‘It’s pretty much a thankless job and you have to be prepared for a hefty level of criticism.’’
Mrs Mulcahy thanked the people who helped her campaign for council, Murray Shire residents and Murray Shire staff and councillors.
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