By Charlene Macaulay
A push for a second deputy mayor for Wyndham is a step closer – but the position may never be filled.
At a Wyndham council meeting last week councillors voted to review the local laws with a view to allow for the election of two deputy mayors.
Councillor Heather Marcus, who moved the motion, said it was about strengthening the office of the mayor.
“As we all know, the mayor – in a growth city like ours – cannot be everywhere, it is not possible,” she said.
“Having two deputies will be beneficial because they will receive experience, and training if they want to become the mayor the following year.”
Fellow councillor Kim McAliney branded the need for two deputy mayors as ‘spin’.
The topic was hotly contested in a 35-minute debate, and was passed six votes to five. Councillors Marcus, Josh Gilligan, Walter Villagonzalo, Intaj Khan, Tony Hooper and Aaron An voted in favour.
But councillor Henry Barlow said the whole debate was a moot point.
Cr Barlow, who was one of 12 Victorian mayors to take part in a recent review of the Local Government Act, said the draft report –which comes out in a fortnight – spells out the provision of a single deputy mayor.
“If the act passes into legislation, there will never, ever be more than one deputy mayor and this whole process will have been in vain,” he said.
“This motion does two things, it makes a mockery of our local law and it will cost this council thousands of dollars for something that will never happen.”