COUNCILLOR Neil Burnside of Narooma was last week appointed to the position of deputy mayor, joining mayor Lindsay Brown also of Narooma.
Clr Burnside was pleased with his nomination and subsequent appointment as the second-highest ranking official in the council, but declared that it will be business as usual.
“It is largely a ceremonial role in that I am deputising the mayor when he is absent,” he said.
“I will continue to do what I have been doing until now.
“I will be picking up the rocks and continue to looking underneath them to find things that need changing and if it does try to argue the case for change and improvement within council.”
While the mayor is elected by the community every four years the deputy mayor is appointed by a council vote annually.
Clr Burnside was one of two nominations that was put forward for the position and succeeded with the majority of support from his fellow councillors.
The new councillor stood for the Eurobodalla Ratepayers Association (ERA) in last year’s local government election – one of four ERA members elected.
“I am most proud of the general manager’s review of council, which was essentially parallel to the ERA election platform. I thought that was very good,” he said.
In the review general manager Catherine Dale recommended six board issues be enhanced to meet the community’s expectations.
These included financial sustainability, community relations and communication, organisational culture, land use planning, economic development and risk management.
Despite both being from Narooma, both Clr Burnside and mayor Brown have made it clear they are on council to represent the Eurobodalla Shire, not just the area in which they live.
Clr Burnside’s election as deputy may have prompted concerns amongst some residents in the northern end of the shire.
Clr Brown said his door was always open, and he was prepared to meet with anyone about any issues they have, no matter where they were from.
“My view is to be as successful as possible in representing the community across the entire shire.”
Of the nine councillors, two are from Narooma, three from Moruya, and there is one each from Tuross, Potato Point, Belowra and Batemans Bay.
Having both the mayor and deputy mayor from the southern end of the shire, he said, was just a sign of democracy at work.
Clr Burnside said there were some local issues, but most were shire-wide.
Historically, he noted it seems the southern end of the shire has punched above its weight in terms of electing mayors from Narooma.
“It’s not a bad record considering Narooma is the smallest of the three major towns in the shire,” he said.