Originally written by ROXANNE PUNTON
A VETERAN councillor of 24 years has been appointed as the Glenleg Shire mayor for 2002/2003.
Cr Neil Kerr, who has been on the former Portland Shire Council, Heywood Shire Council and now Glenelg Shire Council, was the only nomination for the position at this week’s statutory council meeting.
The first time Cr Kerr has put his hand up for the mayoral position, he said it was an expression of trust by his fellow councillors to allow him to take this position.
While this is the first time Cr Kerr has held the mayoral position, he has had previous experience, holding the position of shire president with the Heywood Shire Council/Portland Shire Council for two years, during his 18-year stint with the former council.
“I dare say there would be many who would aspire to a position such as this, but there are so few who actually attain it,” he said when accepting the position.
Cr Kerr, who takes on the position from Cr Geoff White, who held the post for the past two years, said he did not expect to make any changes to how council is run, but rather aimed to continue the good management of his predecessors.
“It is often said that a new broom sweeps clean, and that may be so, but sometimes the new groups need not sweep clean. As I see it, there is no great need for any changes in the structure or the running of this council. I believe it’s been set on very firm minds over recent years and my tack would be one of continuity, to continue with the responsible financial arrangements the council has entered into, to continue good governance and to continue the projects the council has.”
After his appointment, Cr Kerr congratulated Cr White on the high standard he achieved during his two year term as mayor, commenting that he put his “body and soul” into the job.
He also complimented Cr White’s wife, Aileen, for her support of Cr White and the council, and in turn the municipality, during the past two years.
“During the coming year my abilities are going to be sorely tested and realistically I don’t always expect to match the standards set by previous mayors, so when the going gets tough, when you say to yourself, ‘I don’t think he’s right’ and after a few more minutes you say to yourself ‘I know he’s not right’, I just ask you to remember one thing, it is the position you respect not the embodiment.”