Key date for Mayor – Voting deadline looms for Valley’s top job

THE Derwent Valley will have a new mayor by next week.

Local voters have until 2pm next Tuesday to return their postal votes before the Tasmanian Electoral Commission commence the count.

Counting will start at 9am the following day, with the result expected to be known by early afternoon.

The number of electors enrolled is 8159 and as of late last week 2595 voters had returned their postal ballot, which is just 32 per cent of the total.

Six candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to become the next Mayor after former mayor Ben Shaw quit the role in December citing a concerted campaign to “bring me down by social media warriors, certain media and a minority of despicable community members who are allowed to go unfettered and without consequence spreading vile misinformation, rumors and lies’’.

The candidates are: Retiree Phillip Bingley of Lachlan, who spent 39 years in local government and wants to see annual rates and charges pegged to no more than CPI for an average family home; Peter Binny of Granton, a former councillor in the 1990s who says he wants to see pride put back into the community; Jessica Cosgrove of New Norfolk, who became acting Mayor following Mr Shaw’s resignation; Michelle Dracoulis of New Norfolk, who describes herself as an artist, curator, small business owner and community volunteer; Tony Nicholson of Lachlan, who has had 14 years prior experience on Council as a councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor; and Julie Triffett of New Norfolk, a councillor for eight years.

Whoever wins will hold the position until the ordinary election in October this year. The Council has undergone a massive shake-up in the past 10 weeks.

Along with the mayor quitting, another councillor Phil Belcher resigned and a third, Martyn Evans, was dismissed by the Office of Local Government after failing to attend three council meetings in a row.

Along with voting for a new mayor, voting will also take place for the position of councillor.

This month’s Council meeting will be held on Thursday February 24 at the New Norfolk RSL, corner of Charles and Tank Streets New Norfolk at 6pm.