Councillor Sharon Gibson is the new Mayor of Latrobe City Council after the mayoral election was held at the Council Chamber in Morwell on Friday evening.
Cr Darren Howe was elected Deputy Mayor. The duo will lead the new council following the recent Local Government election.
Cr Gibson has been a West Ward Councillor since December 2008, and served as Mayor from November 2013 to October 2014. She was Deputy Mayor three consecutive times.
“I’m honoured to be given the confidence of my colleagues to lead Council for the next 12 months. As Mayor, it is not about the title; it is about the community,” Cr Gibson said.
“This will be a critical time as Council works with the community to recover from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cr Gibson said the community had endured a tough year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Council will continue its support of the community and business sectors as we move into COVID-Normal,” she said.
Cr Gibson promised to continue Council’s advocacy work to position Latrobe City as a regional city alongside Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
“We need to be a strong voice in Spring Street and in Canberra because without that we won’t get anything,” she said.
Cr Gibson also pledged to drive a strong, unified voice across Latrobe City.
“United this community stands; divided we don’t,” she said.
High on her list of projects is the planning and construction of the Moe Rail Precinct Revitalisation Stage 2 and the Kernot Hall upgrade in Morwell.
Cr Howe, an East Ward Councillor, joined Council in November 2016 and served as Deputy Mayor in 2018/19.
Latrobe City Council Chief Executive Officer Steven Piasente welcomed Cr Gibson and Cr Howe, and is looking forward to a productive working relationship for the betterment of all residents and businesses of Latrobe City.
“The Council works with the community to set the agenda for the organisation, while I as the Chief Executive Officer, work with the Council to implement its policies across the organisation, drawing on the expertise of our staff to advise Councillors in their role,” Mr Piasente said.
“The election of a new Council is a chance to continue on the good work of the previous council while bringing a fresh vision that respects the community’s aspirations for their City.”
Cr Kellie O’Callaghan was the only other candidate for the mayoral role. Immediate past Mayor, Cr Dan Clancey, also stood for the role of Deputy Mayor. The first Ordinary Council Meeting for the new Council will be on 7 December 2020.