18 September 2020

Bega gets third mayor in five months

| Kim Treasure
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Russell Fitzpatrick.

Newly elected Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick. Photo: Supplied.

Bega Valley Shire Council has a new mayor, its third in five months.

Councillor Russell Fitzpatrick was elected to the role at a meeting this week, and he will hold the position until the next council elections in September 2021.

He defeated Councillor Robyn Bain by five votes to three – with Councillor Kristy McBain abstaining – in a ballot during a regular council meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, 16 September.

Ms McBain relinquished the mayor position earlier this year before successfully contesting the by-election for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

READ MORE Kristy McBain gets down to work for Eden-Monaro

Councillor Fitzpatrick has served on Bega Valley Shire Council since 2009 and is the third mayor in the past five months.

Councillor Sharon Tapscott served from early May through until this week but didn’t seek re-election. She indicated she intends to step down from council in the near future to become a full-time carer for her husband, who is suffering from a degenerative disease.

Councillor Liz Seckold was elected to serve as Bega Valley Shire Council Deputy Mayor.

READ MORE Bega Valley Shire Council seeks help from NSW Auditor-General to review ‘challenging’ finances

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Fitzpatrick said council is facing a number of challenges. He added that the shire’s businesses have been hit hard by bushfires and COVID-19, while farmers are coming out of the drought.

“It’s a matter of us working through these things during the next 12 months,” he said.

He also acknowledged council finances are a major concern and that planning issues continue to raise their head.

“I’m looking forward to working with the community,” said Councillor Fitzpatrick.

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tjenka murray12:31 pm 05 Dec 21

Hello About Regional, What is going on with Being Major in the Bega Valley? How have the Bega Valley councillors snuck a referendum in for a publicly elected Major? I would like to make a Complaint against the Bega Valley Shire Council regarding the Election Referendum question. The council did not adequately inform the community about the pros and cons of the referendum question. I have spoken to around 50 local friends, family, colleges who knew nothing about this referendum question. There was no information given to voters about the referendum question, at pre-polling or on the voting day. A current local councillor said that they should have supplied written material. Please look into this issue and let me know if this is legal. I am pretty upset that a significant shift can happen without any public information or discussion. I looked on the internet and couldn’t find any local debate. What do you think about this issue? Do you write back to these questions ? can i expect to hear from you?
Thank you
Tjenka Murray, Reedy Swamp Rd, Reedy Swamp Bega NSW 2550

Helen Grealy3:59 pm 20 Sep 20

My Concern since the bush fire’s in Tathra The number of trees’s being removed And council is not stepping up to deal with these clearings.Grass un keep is far more a danger problem in a fire than trees’s I have lost all faith in council . Even when you ring a ranger for dogs hunting native animals in reserves you do not hear back for a week. Why do we have council why not a administrator. It would cut the cost of council and maybe just maybe something might be achieved And some councilors have been their too long and this leads to complacency

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