Stephanie Asher has informed the City’s CEO of her decision to step down from the role of Greater Geelong Mayor, effective Wednesday 15 June, and return to her position as a councillor.
Elected to the Council in October 2017, Cr Asher has served as Mayor since October 2019.
A date and time for a special meeting of Council to elect a new mayor will be communicated in the coming days. Once elected, the new mayor will serve until the scheduled mayoral election in November 2022.
The special meeting will be open to the community.
Mayor Stephanie Asher:
Since returning as mayor last week, my aim has been to work closely and intently with my council colleagues to achieve the best outcomes for the City and, most importantly, choose the course that will best serve our community.
The role of mayor is not a political role, it’s a community representative role. I have never mixed the two and party politics has never been welcome or accepted in the chamber during my time as mayor.
Our future needs to be about looking forward together, continuing to use our diversity of opinion towards better outcomes, not dividing on the basis of party politics.
We have been a council that has achieved a lot together since 2019, despite the pandemic. I don’t wish to see projects stopped or negativity taking over from our positive and well-mannered group.
It has become apparent that the best thing for achieving progress – particularly in relation to the vital working relationship between the new federal government and the Council – is to have a change of mayor.
I’m very grateful for the lovely support of many people in our community who have encouraged me to continue in the role.
However, in the interests of both the Council group and the community, I have made the call to step down from the mayoral position to the role of councillor, effective Wednesday 15 June.
Heartfelt thanks to my council colleagues for their support. And I pay particular tribute to Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan for performing the role of mayor since January.
Thank you also to our community – which has continually provided such insightful feedback and input on Council plans and projects.
Geelong is realising the potential we have all seen for so long and, as I depart the mayoral role, I’m comfortable I have led a Council that has given its absolute all to advancing the cause of our region.
City of Greater Geelong CEO Martin Cutter:
The City of Greater Geelong thanks Stephanie Asher for her dedicated service as mayor since October 2019.
As mayor, Cr Asher has been a strong community advocate and led the Council through the pandemic, when it allocated more than $19 million in community and business support initiatives.
Under Cr Asher’s leadership, the Council has delivered a clear plan to manage population growth and made strategic decisions aimed at setting our region up for a sustainable future. The Council has also invested heavily in facilities important to community health and wellbeing, which will have a long lasting impact.
The organisation looks forward to working with the incoming mayor once elected, and to providing continued support to Cr Asher in her role as councillor.