By Kate Taylor
Central Ward Councillor Paul Tatchell has been elected Mayor of Moorabool Shire Council, with East Ward Councillor John Keogh elected as Deputy Mayor.
Councillors voted on the positions at an annual Special Meeting, held last Wednesday 8 November.
A past Mayor of Moorabool in 2014 and 2015, Cr Tatchell was nominated for Mayor by East Ward Councillor Jarrod Bingham, with outgoing Mayor David Edwards and Cr John Keogh also voting for him.
His rival was West Ward Councillor Tom Sullivan, who has also served previous terms as Mayor, with Woodlands Ward Councillor Pat Toohey having nominated him and East Ward Councillor Dudzik supporting the nomination.
With Cr Tatchell having won the Mayoral race by one vote (4/3), attentions turned to the election of the Deputy Mayor.
Cr Dudzik, the incumbent, was nominated for the position by Cr Toohey, with Cr Sullivan also voting in her favour.
But it was Cr Bingham’s nomination of Cr Keogh that proved successful, with Cr’s Edwards and Tatchell also voting in his favour.
Both Mayor Tatchell and Deputy Mayor Keogh will serve one-year terms.
Outgoing Mayor Dave Edwards took the opportunity to thank his family and the other councillors, noting that he could not have done the previous 12-months without his wife Lynette and council staff.
Cr Toohey told the meeting that as Mayor, Cr Edwards was a strategic thinker and did excellent work.
“When he came on (to council) I was Mayor, and he certainly had the makings of a future Mayor,” Cr Toohey said.
Cr Bingham noted that Cr Edwards did a lot of work behind the scenes as Mayor – even pointing out that he was never “half-arsed” about the job at hand.
“Foundations have been laid, and whoever follows will have an easier job,” Cr Bingham told the meeting.
Upon his election, Cr Tatchell thanked the councillors for the vote and told the meeting that it is always difficult when there is a vote for Mayor especially with none more capable than Cr Sullivan.
“Every morning when I get up, and when I go to bed I will make sure that on the mind of all politicians is Moorabool,” Mayor Tatchell said.
Mr Tatchell takes on the role despite a medical diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (*GBS) at the beginning of 2017.
*GBS is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system with damaged nerve cells causing ascending paralysis, with other complications.