By Jackson Russell
North ward councillor Rhonda Sanderson has been elected as Mitchell Shire Mayor for the third time.
Cr Sanderson will guide a council with three new additions through its first year and the continuing COVID-19 recovery efforts.
She was elected unopposed at a special council meeting last Monday night after being nominated by south ward councillor Bob Cornish and seconded by north ward councillor Bill Chisholm.
All nine councillors were also sworn-in during the special council meeting.
Born and raised in Seymour, Cr Sanderson was first elected to council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She served two terms as mayor in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and was deputy mayor in 2013-14.
Cr Sanderson will be supported by first-time central ward councillor Nathan Clark, who was also elected unopposed after being nominated by central ward councillor Annie Goble and seconded by Cr Chisholm.
Cr Sanderson said it was an honour and a privilege to be elected into the role by her fellow councillors and highlighted the importance of having an experienced mayor during the first year of a new council.
“Particularly going into your first year, the new councillors really don’t know what to expect so it’s important that there’s somebody there who can guide council,” she said.
“This first year is very important because it sets the whole theme for the next four years.
“It’s going to be a very, very, very busy first year so it’s useful to have somebody who knows the ropes.”
Cr Clark said being elected deputy mayor was not something he expected when he decided to stand for council earlier this year.
“I was looking forward to getting on council and being elected was a great honour,” he said.
“I think the tradition goes that it’s best to have a person who’s been mayor before be mayor in the first year, and a new councillor as deputy mayor to bring some fresh eyes and some enthusiasm to the role.”