One horse race?

November 08, 2017

City of Greater Shepparton Deputy Mayor Kim O'Keeffe is the only councillor who has nominated for the mayoral role ahead of Tuesday's vote.

A vote on who will be City of Greater Shepparton’s mayor for the next year is less than a week away and so far only one candidate appears to have formerly declared their candidacy.

Deputy Mayor Kim O’Keeffe has put her hand up for the plum role which Cr Dinny Adem has held for the past two years, saying it was time for change up top and she was ready for the challenge.

Cr Adem has stopped short of formerly declaring for re-election.

He recently said he was ‘‘happy to serve’’ for another year and claimed he remained the right choice to continue steering the ship for next 12 months.

But the mayor has backed away from confirming his candidacy, instead saying he may not decide right up until Tuesday’s meeting, where the mayor and deputy mayor will be elected.

A former mayor has weighed in and is supporting the only person he understands is running for the role.

Cr Dennis Patterson is supporting Cr O’Keeffe, saying her convincing victory in last year’s council election sent a clear message she had the support of ratepayers.

‘‘I will be more than happy to support Kim.’’

Cr Patterson said if another contestant should declare their candidacy, he would be ‘‘happy to listen’’.

But Cr Patterson said if there were contenders, it remained important the mayoral vote was debated and decided in a public forum at Tuesday’s meeting, instead of behind closed doors beforehand.

He said it was important that the ratepayers could see whom councillors support, something which had not always been the case in the past.

Cr Patterson believed Cr O’Keeffe had ‘‘certainly done the work as deputy mayor’’ in the past 12 months and deserved an opportunity as mayor.

Cr Seema Abdullah has confirmed she will nominate for the role of deputy mayor next week, after hinting at the possibility.

She will nominate for the position, regardless of the mayoral election result.

‘‘I have decided to continue with that aspiration ... I will be putting up my hand for deputy mayor role,’’ she said.

Cr Abdullah believes she could take on more responsibility, provide more support to the mayor and would relish stepping in if the mayor was unavailable.

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