And Deb Swan wins an equally-tight race in Strathbogie Shire.By Chalpat Sonti
There is change at the top of both Mitchell and Strathbogie Shire Councils after two close mayoral elections last night.
Seymour-based councillor Bill Melbourne was elected Mitchell Shire Council mayor for the fifth time, holding off a challenge from Central Ward councillor Ross Lee to triumph 5-4.
Another Central Ward councillor Kelley Stewart was elected unopposed as deputy mayor, the first time for some years the council has filled the role.
Cr Melbourne was previously mayor in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and said one of his priorities was to work with chief executive Rebecca McKenzie and the business community to get a solid understanding of what the latter saw as obstacles to growth.
Cr Lee said he believed it was time a central Ward councillor got the job, which has largely been the preserve of North Ward councillors in recent years. Bob Humm (Central) and outgoing mayor Sue Marstaeller (South) have been the only others to get a look in since 2005.
■ Lake Nagambie Ward councillor Deb Swan ousted sitting mayor Mick Williams 4-3 in Strathbogie, to become the first mayor of the shire from the Nagambie area.
Like Cr Melbourne, she highlighted communication as a key priority.
‘‘I am passionate about good communication, and I want to reconnect with our local communities by looking for new and different ways to interact, communicate and most importantly learn from our residents,’’ she said.
Euroa-based councillor Colleen Furlanetto returned to the deputy mayor position when she also ousted an incumbent in Malcolm Little 4-3.
■ More on the Mitchell and Strathbogie Shire Council mayoral contests, including analysis, in next week’s Seymour Telegraph.
A Tamleugh North farmer has described the theft of four sheep fences from his tornado-damaged property ''a low act''.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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