Council to consider referendum for direct vote for mayor

TOMORROW’S Clarence Valley Council meeting will again investigate the prospect of giving voters the chance to directly elect the mayor.

Mayor Richie Williamson has placed a mayoral minute on the agenda proposing the council hold a referendum asking:

“The Mayor of Clarence Valley Council is currently elected each year by the councillors. Do you favour the election of the mayor by the electors for a four-year term and without changing the number of councillors from nine, including the mayor.”

The likely date for the referendum is the date of the next council elections, September 10.

The proposed referendum mirrors a shift in local government for mayors to serve longer periods than the current one-year term.

The NSW Government’s Fit for the Future report claims the longer terms will bring more stability and accountability to councils.

The council orginally scheduled a referendum to be held during a councillor by-election in January 2015, but with only one nomination for the role, Cr Arthur Lysaught was elected unopposed and the referendum shelved.

The council estimates it will cost $16,000 to hold the referendum concurrently with the council election.



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