IN one of the quickest Mayoral elections in decades Cr John Davis was returned as Mayor of the city of Orange at an extraordinary meeting of Orange City Council on Tuesday night.
Only a handful of Orange residents, including some ex-council employees, were in the gallery to see Cr Davis secure the top job again on the first ballot.
Cr Reg Kidd and Cr Kevin Duffy had also nominated for the position of Mayor, however after the first round of secret ballot voting, council’s general manager Garry Styles declared Cr Davis had secured a majority nine votes and was duly elected as Mayor.
The nine votes did not take into account the vote of Cr. Scott Munro who rushed into the chamber late, only to find he had missed the vote to choose the city’s Mayor.
With the position of Deputy Mayor next up for grabs, it was councillors Chris Gryllis, Reg Kidd, Kevin Duffy and Jason Hamling who were vying for the position.
Once again on the first vote a majority was secured, with Cr Jason Hamling receiving seven votes and was duly elected, replacing long serving councillor Chris Gryllis as Deputy Mayor.
Prior to the election Cr Ron Gander addressed councillors suggesting the elections should be postponed due to the potential imminent announcement of the decision to be handed down from the courts on Cabonne Council’s appeal against the proposed amalgamation of Cabonne, Blayney and Orange councils.
However general manager Garry Styles indicated correct protocol and procedure was being followed and the extraordinary meeting for the purpose of electing the mayor had been called.
Cr Davis said he felt gratified he had been elected and it was time to “get on with the job” of prioritising the upgrades and repairs to the city’s roads.
“It has been a difficult time for many people while we have been waiting for the amalgamation announcement but it could be one day or three months from now, so we must put our heads down with the attitude it’s business as usual,”said Cr Davis.
Cr Davis said the people of Orange need to be assured $15 million which has already previously been approved by council to be spent on roads will be used in the net 12-15 months.
“We have two pages of roads listed and identified at council, of roads which will be a priority and work will start within the months,” he said.
“This isn’t magic – it is part of a planning process which council has already endorsed and has been approved in the budget.
Cr Hamling said he was honoured to be elected as deputy mayor.
“Of course we don’t know how long that could be because of the amalgamations issue but I feel gratified to know my fellow councillors have put their trust in me,” Cr Hamling said.
“So we have to roll up our sleeves now and get on with the job of running Orange as there are plenty of exciting things happening,” he said.