NEWLY elected Mount Worth ward councillor Murray Cook has been appointed mayor of the Baw Baw Shire Council for 2012 in a special council meeting this afternoon.
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH CR COOK AND CR BROWN:
Watch below the text of this article.
The deputy mayor position was also filled at the meeting by newly elected North ward councillor Deborah Brown.
Both Cr Cook and Cr Brown were elected unopposed.
Cr Cook told The Warragul Citizen in a video interview the decision of who would become mayor had been made earlier this week.
Cr Murray Cook shortly after his election as mayor. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
“It (the decision) was made this week,” Cr Cook said.
“As I mentioned during the meeting [it was] for convenience sake because if the elected mayor needs to invite family and friends from a distance that can be arranged.”
After being elected mayor, Cr Cook spoke at the meeting of the goals of the new council.
“I would like to think that out manifesto is at the end of the four years ‘we care’,” Cr Cook said.
From left to right: Baw Baw Shire CEO Helen Anstis, newly elected Baw Baw Mayor Cr Murray Cook, newly elected Baw Baw Deputy Mayor Deborah Brown.
“We care about the community we serve, about our staff and about our environment, both built and natural.”
Cr Cook flagged a review of the present council budget, new advisory committees, including one for roads and drains, and said the council will “initially only do what needs to be done.”
Cr Cook acknowledged the “professionalism” of former councillors before addressing council staff and the community.
“To the staff I say as a council we look forward to utilising their (sic) skills,” Cr Cook said.
“To the Baw Baw community we the council accept the responsibility that has been given to us.
“The message is loud and clear: there is a mandate for change.”
Cr Cook highlighted roads and drains as key areas of concern, as well as efficiency and accountability.
In a short speech Cr Brown congratulated Cr Cook and said she is “excited about this, we have an exciting team.”
Cr Cook was nominated by Warragul ward councillor Joe Gauci, with the motion seconded by Mount Worth ward councillor Bill Harrington.
Cr Brown was nominated by Warragul ward councillor Mikaela Power, with that motion seconded by Drouin ward councillor Terry Williamson.
Video interviews with Murray Cook and Deborah Brown:
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