Kim O’Keeffe is the City of Greater Shepparton’s new mayor after clinching a narrow victory over former mayor Dinny Adem.
The Shepparton businesswoman won the plum role by a whisker, securing the five-vote majority support needed from fellow councillors at a meeting last night.
After not declaring his candidacy leading up to the contest, it remained unclear whether Cr Adem would be considered for a third year as mayor until the meeting.
Once both contenders were nominated and it went to a vote, five of the nine sitting councillors put their hands up in support of Cr O’Keeffe — Crs Fern Summer, Chris Hazelman, Dennis Patterson, Seema Abdullah and O’Keeffe herself.
As the result became clear, chief executive Peter Harriott proceeded to duly declare Cr O’Keeffe mayor for the next 12 months.
Almost immediately, Crs O’Keeffe and Adem rose to shake one another’s hands, as a room full of family, friends and community members applauded.
Cr O’Keeffe vowed to be decisive, visionary, build stronger relationships with MPs and industry.
Cr Adem used his full allocated time, arguing on his strong advocacy, partnerships forged and unity developed during his past two years as mayor.
Once elected, Cr O’Keeffe assumed a chair at the head of the table, thanked her peers and took over proceedings, ‘‘honoured, excited and delighted to be in this position’’.
Cr Abdullah was elected deputy mayor for the next year, uncontested.
Grab a copy of tomorrow's News for an extended feature with newly elected Mayor, Kim O'Keefe.