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City recommends against direct mayoral electionsPoll

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Rod Fyffe could have the power to eject disruptive councillors from future meetings if state government recommendations are accepted. Picture: GLENN DANIELSThe City of Greater Bendigo council will decide whether to endorse the city’s submission to the Local Government Act reviewdirections paper at this Wednesday’s council meeting.
Nanjing Night Net

One ofthe paper’s recommendations was to provide the Local Government Minister with the power to approve the direct election of mayors where certain conditions were met, including the size of the council, its significance in its own terms or in terms of the widerregion and community support.

But the council’sproposed submission cautions against such a move, arguing that it “potentially creates more problems that it is intended to solveand reduces the election of a mayor to simply a popularity vote”.

“The consequential interface between a popularly-elected mayor and other councillors can be fraught and easily avoided,” it reads.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Rod Fyffe said popularly elected mayors’ agendas often clashed with those of other councillors.

“There are plenty of examples around Australiaof mayors being popularlyelected on one platformand the councillors have been elected on theirplatforms on issues that may not be related,” he said.

“We’re all of a mind that the mayor should be elected by peers, the councillors themselves, rather than popularelections,so you don’t get a situation like you’ve got in Geelong.”

The submission also recommends against affording mayors the power to remove a councillor who is disrupting a council meeting, in favour of such an action resulting from a motion moved by the mayor,seconded by another councillor and taken to a vote.

The submission argues that this process would make the removal adecision of council as a whole, rather than that of an individual.

“This is consistent with the principle of autonomy,” it reads.

Also on the agenda for this week’s meeting is a petition requesting the sealing of Myrtle Creek Road in Axe Creek and the subdivision of land in Sedgwick Road, Sedgwick into two lots.

The council will also consider the future use of two parcels of land on Victoria Street, Eaglehawk, assessed as surplus by the Department of Environment,Land, Water and Planning.

A report to council on the land identifiestwo scenarios as beingoutcomes which would beof benefit to the Eaglehawk community.

One includes part public open space and part residential housing, while the other would see the expansion of the Eaglehawk cemetery onto the land.

The second option would also make“appropriate provision for public space access and use”.

Councillors will also consider submissions to the Bendigo Urban Flood Study planning scheme amendment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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