Deputy mayor role not for Les

AS THREE Maryborough-based councillors indicated their interests in the position, a Hervey Bay-based councillor yesterday ruled his name out as a possible contender for deputy mayor.

“I think it’s time for a change,” Les MucKan said yesterday.

“But I don’t think it’s my time at this point in time.”

Current deputy mayor Belinda McNeven was not available for comment yesterday.

The deputy mayor’s position is up for discussion next month on the completion of the current two-year period.

Councillors Julie Arthur, Gerard O’Connell and Anne Nioa have all indicated a willingness to take on the job should they get the support of fellow members.

“I would see it as an honour and would be happy to undertake the job,” Ms Arthur, former deputy mayor of Maryborough City Council, said.

Mr O’Connell said he had not given it a lot of thought but would be interested in the job.

“I’m keen to offer myself in a leadership role,” he said.

“If people were interested and thought I could do a reasonable job I would not say no.”

Mr O’Connell said he was “very attached” to his economic development portfolio and would not be losing any sleep if the deputy mayor role did not happen.

Ms Nioa confirmed she had discussed the job with some but not all of her colleagues.

“When you’re going about your normal business and if fellow colleagues consider you suitable for such a position, it’s an honour.

“Belinda is doing a very good job and I believe I could do an equally good job.”

Mr MucKan, who voted against a councillor pay rise last month and who diverted his salary increase to charity, said he would be interested in the deputy mayor job for the six-month period that has been added to this council term.

“If I ran (next time) and got in, I’d have to find another community organisation to donate the extra money to.”

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