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.
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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