FORMER deputy mayor Cr Bryan Payne, of Nepean ward, is the new mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire.
The now retired Cr Payne, whose previous jobs included being CEO of several municipalities, was elected at the Tuesday 14 November council meeting, with Cerberus ward’s Cr Kate Roper named deputy mayor.
Councillors Hugh Fraser and Antonella Celi nominated themselves for the mayoralty but were passed over for Cr Payne.
Cr Simon Brooks, who is in Germany at a conference, was nominated for deputy mayor but lost out to Cr Roper.
In his acceptance speech, Cr Payne thanked his colleagues for their “vote of confidence and support”.
“It is a role in an orchestra of which the conductor has many talented players and their role is to make sure that they are playing in harmony and playing the same melody,” he said.
“The present group of councillors has a great variety of skills, background and a wide range of ages. I can assure you this council is in good hands with this group of councillors.”
Cr Payne takes over from Briars ward’s Cr Bev Colomb as mayor. “[She] is a perfect example of being a great conductor,” he said.
“Her job as mayor is an inspiration for me to follow. It has been a pleasure to serve as her deputy.”
Cr Payne said the Mornington Peninsula was the “greatest place on earth”.
“With beaches, hills, agriculture – particularly wineries – brought together by our green wedge you can truly say that we live in paradise: I’m the mayor of paradise”.
“This council is committed to valuing, protecting and improving this unique environment. We are also willing to fight to achieve that, and we will continue to fight to achieve it similarly to what councils in the past have done.
“This council is determined to ensure the services we provide are in accordance with our wonderful environment. We can only achieve that by listening to our communities, and developing policies and programs in accordance with the community’s aspirations.
“Most importantly, we must deliver those services in accordance with best practices. I am confident our council, and our excellent staff, will not let the Mornington Peninsula down with our endeavours.”