Saturday, December 3, 2022

Rally outside council chambers to push for a mayor elected by the people

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A public, peaceful rally is planned for February 14, outside the Kyogle Council Chambers before the next council meeting begins.

Kyogle

Jeanette Foy-Wilson is one of the residents who will be going along to make her voice heard about how the mayor was elected.

At the council’s meeting in January, councillors voted for Kylie Thomas to replace Danielle Mulholland as mayor.

Many people were shocked by the vote expecting Ms Mullholland to continue as mayor for another term.

Ms Foy-Wilson was one of the people who felt the councillors did not vote for what the community wanted, and she will be at the rally.

“Let our presence be seen, Kyogle, towards council members who clearly did not vote the way we would have expected them to,” she said.

“I’m making up a sign now to voice my discontent.”

While the decision may have shocked some people, the process of councillors electing a mayor and deputy is legal and is how it is done in some councils.

Other councils such as Richmond Valley and Lismore elect a mayor by popular vote.

To change Kyogle Council’s procedure, a motion would have to be put forward at the February meeting and a referendum held at the next council elections in September 2024.

If the people then choose to elect their own mayor, that wouldn’t happen until the following election in 2028.

Unless a councillor puts this forward as a motion to get the ball rolling, nothing will change in the way the mayor is elected.

The rally is to let councillors know that the community should have a voice in how our mayoral positions are voted on, Ms Foy-Wilson said.

The rally is on Monday, February 14 at 5pm outside Kyogle Council Chambers.

This article appeared on indyNR.com on 1 February 2022.

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