Prime Minister Bites the Dust. This won’t happen to your Mayor.

We watched today helplessly as yet another Prime Minister bites the dust. The fourth to get the flick by their colleagues.

As this unfolded over the last few days I could not help but ponder the comparisons between Federal, State and Local Government. More particularly I pondered the status of Prime Ministers and Premiers, as compared with Mayors.

Prime Minister bites the dustIn recent years, after the long reign of John Howard as Prime Minister, we have seen Kevin Rudd elected by the people. We then saw Julia Gillard, followed again by Kevin Rudd elevated to the top spot not by you but by their colleagues in the Labor party.

With an angry electorate we then saw Tony Abbott get the people’s vote only then to see Malcolm Turnbull followed by Scott Morrison get the top job courtesy of “their” Liberal colleagues. You have to wonder how the electorate will view this mob next time they get their chance to have a say?

Just in case you don’t know, it won’t be long before we will be asked to vote in the Local Government elections. Given today’s news we might also be voting soon in the Federal election having done likewise in the State elections earlier this year. Maybe even at the same time.

And as the Prime Minister bites the dust here is my ponderance that prompted this blog post.

Unlike in Federal and State elections you will be asked to vote separately for your local ward members and your Mayor. In local government elections you get to vote for your local representative just as you do in the Federal and State elections. Of course, you get to choose two, not one. That is a storey in its own right.

That said, unlike in the Federal and State equivalents, you also get to vote separately for your Mayor. And when you do the winner of your vote gets the nod. In the other two forms of government the party that wins the most seats in the lower house elects the leader, be it Prime Minister or Premier. Not you.

And once you have, that person will be your Mayor until you get another say. That is unless they resign as Mayor Clyne did earlier this year or have health issues that prevent staying in the top job. The Mayor’s colleagues do not have a say. Only you.

The other side of the coin however is anyone who does not win the Mayoral contest does not get to sit on Council. The losers of the race for Prime Minister and Premier do. And they do because you don’t get a say.

Yet, with such power in Local Government elections it is strange that only one in three able to cast a vote will.

As they say (and the Prime Minister bites the dust) that’s politics.

Deputy Mayor

Deputy DonLast night I was elected unopposed by my peers to take on the role next year of Deputy Mayor.

The position of Deputy Mayor is a position elected by council under clause 51 of the Local Government Act. It is a position elected by the members of Council for terms set by Council not exceeding 4 years. Council have previously determined that these terms be for 12 months.

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The role of Deputy Mayor, under the Local Government Act is to

              (6) In the absence of the mayor or chairperson, a deputy mayor or deputy chairperson may act in the office of mayor or chairperson.

I look forward to working with our Mayor Lachlan Cylne in the coming year. It promises to be full of opportunities and challenges. My term begins on January 28 next year. So in the interim it is Deputy Mayor elect.

Cr Rabbitt filled the role this role last year and Cr Schnell before him. Cr Rabbitt’s term finishes on January 27 next year. Both Cr Rabbitt and Cr Schnell have done a sterling job during their respective terms. On behalf of Council and the ratepayers of Unley I thank them.

This is Deputy Dawg. Oops! Deputy Elect Don signing off.