Murray Shire councillor Brian Sharp cited health reasons for his resignation on Monday.RUTH CLAYTON February 21, 2013 4:56am
The shock resignation of Murray Shire councillor Brian Sharp was announced at this week’s council meeting.
Mayor Tom Weyrich addressed council at the start of Tuesday’s ordinary meeting in Mathoura and announced Cr Sharp, who served council for two weeks shy of 19 years, would be stepping down from his role as councillor, effective immediately, for health reasons.
A by-election to replace Cr Sharp is expected to be held in May.
Cr Sharp, who was mayor from 1996 to 2010, was absent from the meeting, but asked through Cr Weyrich for his privacy to be respected.
Cr Sharp handed his resignation letter to Cr Weyrich and general manager Greg Murdoch on Monday.
Cr Weyrich said it was fair to say Cr Sharp was not well.
‘‘His advice in relation to his health is that the added stress of council is not doing his health any good,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
‘‘For personal reasons, as well as his health, he has decided to resign from council.’’
In mid-2011, Cr Sharp was one of three people presented with an Emeritus Mayor’s Award, recognising long-serving and dedicated mayors.
In January, he was honoured with a NSW Shire’s Association long-service certificate.
Cr Weyrich said Cr Sharp’s almost 20 years serving the shire deserved accolades and Cr Sharp had done a ‘‘commendable job’’.
He said Cr Sharp deserved to be lauded and was saddened to hear of the resignation.
‘‘We have lost a valuable asset off council,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
The news came as a shock to many councillors, and Cr Sharp never publicly indicated any intention to resign as councillor.
In the period leading to last year’s September election, Cr Sharp said he would stand for another term, saying he still had a lot to offer the shire.
‘‘I believe I have experience and knowledge of local government and the local area,’’ Cr Sharp said at the time.
At the September election, Cr Sharp was elected to position three with 399 first preference votes — 11.22 per cent.
General manager Greg Murdoch said Cr Sharp had been a great asset to Murray Shire.
Cr Betty Murphy paid tribute to Cr Sharp’s time on council, having worked closely with him as his deputy mayor for five years.
‘‘He worked very, very hard for Murray Shire,’’ Cr Murphy said.
‘‘The loss of knowledge and contacts over the years is a great loss to this council.
‘‘It’s a tremendous loss in that respect.’’
Cr Sue Mulcahy said she valued Cr Sharp as a mentor and wished him well.
She also requested a formal acknowledgement be made of Cr Sharp’s contribution to council.
Cr Bill Anderson wished Cr Sharp well and Cr Gavin Burke thanked Cr Sharp for his time on council.
Cr Weyrich said an appropriate acknowledgement for Cr Sharp would be discussed.
Councillors Burke and Ian Moon have been pursuing Cr Sharp over an alleged conflict of interest relating to Maiden Smith Drive lot sizes.
Cr Sharp has maintained he has not had a conflict of interest in the matter.
At an October council meeting, Cr Burke asked council to launch an investigation into Cr Sharp due to the perceived conflict of interest.
It is not known what came of the request.
Cr Sharp moved to Echuca in 1972 with the Victoria Police and has lived in Moama since 1983.
Numurkah District Health Service chief executive Jacqueline Phillips is the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to community health.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
When the wall is in sight, swimmer Nash Ramage finds that little bit extra.
Vandals have uprooted trees along the Campaspe River, leaving Rochester River Reserve Committee president Paul Poort furious and devastated.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Cobram bowler Chris Taylor has been bowling all along Australia’s east coast, and all for a good cause.
The Free family were overwhelmed when stolen fishing equipment was returned to them on Monday night.
SPC Ardmona’s managing director Peter Kelly will end his association with the company when his two-year commitment to the job expires at the end of March.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.