Local focus for new mayor Ross Brown
TWO days before his 59th birthday, Kyogle's mayor of nine years Ernie Bennett was forced to hand over the reigns of the shire to local veterinarian and previous mayor Ross Brown.
During the first sitting of Kyogle's new council on Monday night, Cr Brown won the secret ballot for mayor in a 6-3 vote over Cr Bennett.
Cr Robert Dwyer won the deputy mayor's position.
The result 'reflected a mood in Kyogle for change and a need for the council to refocus on local issues', Cr Brown said.
Cr Bennett said he was disappointed not to be voted in as mayor, considering so many councillors and community members had supported his decision to run for another term.
However, Cr Brown said his interests as mayor wouldn't extend beyond the Kyogle council area.
“I really don't see any benefit to the community by being involved with these groups,” he said.
Cr Brown said he was looking forward to working with the seven new councillors and encouraging 'healthy and strong debate that will benefit the community'.
“After the first council meeting it was clear we have nine focused and committed councillors,” he said.
“As long as we focus on the issues and not on personalties we should do well.”