SEAWINDS Ward councillor Kerri McCafferty has resigned from Mornington Peninsula Shire.
Her departure at the end of January will bring to three the number of councillors to have left the 11-member council since their election in November 2020.
Her sudden resignation on Tuesday (20 December) follows Watson Ward’s Cr Paul Mercurio departure following his election to state parliament and Nepean Ward’s Cr Hugh Fraser’s decision to leave in March 2021.
Fraser was replaced by Susan Bissinger, after a countback of votes from the 2020 council election.
The Victorian Electoral Commission says a by-election will be held before March next year to fill the vacancy left by Mercurio.
McCafferty’s replacement will be decided on a countback of the four candidates who failed to gain one of the three Seawinds Ward seats.
In the running to fill the vacancy left by McCafferty’s resignation will be former councillor Simon Brooks, Jared Tipping, George Conrad and Simon Galli.
It is understood the VEC will ask the candidates if they would be willing to join the council if successful in a countback.
In a new release issued by the shire on Tuesday CEO John Baker said McCafferty “informed me that she [is] stepping down for personal reasons”.
The mayor Cr Steve Holland thanked McCafferty “on behalf of all our councillors” for her “service to the community”.
McCafferty’s official biography on the shire website states that her “career background includes 15 years of nursing … including emergency, surgical, remote work and the Royal Flying Doctors Service. In recent years, her work has been exclusively in the intensive care unit”.
The movement of councillors since the 2020 election began with Fraser, the first of the three to leave council. He resigned just four months after being elected for the third successive time (“Fraser bows out after ‘differences’ with CEO” The News 15/3/21).
Cr Despi O’Connor took a leave of absence from council to contest the May federal election as an independent but returned to her Briars Ward position after Liberal Zoe McKenzie was elected MP for Flinders.
Mercurio, who won the seat of Hastings for the Labor Party at last month’s state election, took a leave of absence from council without pay in July.
The vacancies left by the departure of McCafferty and Mercurio mean that Mornington Peninsula residents will not be represented by a full council for at least three months.