JAMIE Chaffey and Rob Hooke will lead Gunnedah Shire Council for the next two years after being elected mayor and deputy mayor respectively.
The two were elected at last night’s mayoral elections as the current council reaches the halfway point of its term.
Cr Chaffey was nominated for the position by councillors Ann Luke and Rob Hooke alongside Cr Colleen Fuller who was nominated by herself and Cr David Moses.
After a secret ballot, Cr Chaffey was voted in by a margin of six votes to three.
“I want to thank my fellow councillors for their continued support of my leadership,” Cr Chaffey said.
“We have accomplished a great deal in our two years as a council and I appreciate your support.
“There is still a lot for us to accomplish and I look forward to working alongside you all for the next two years.”
Cr Hooke claimed the role of deputy mayor from Cr Fuller by a margin of five votes to four after former deputy mayor Gae Swain stepped down from the position.
“This is an exciting day,” Cr Hooke said.
“I am pleased to have got the nod from my fellow councillors and am really looking forward to doing my best for the shire.”
Cr Chaffey praised Cr Swain for her work during her tenure as deputy mayor.
“Gae has made an enormous contribution to our shire over the past two years,” he said.
“She has been a guiding light for me in my first two years as mayor and I want to sincerely thank her for her contribution.”
Cr Hooke was proposed for the position by Cr Chaffey and Cr Luke after initially indicating to Fairfax Media last week he would not stand for the position.
“I decided to keep my cards pretty close to my chest,” Cr Hooke said.
“To be honest I wasn't sure how it would all play out and I wanted to wait and see.
“It really means a lot for my fellow councillors to put their support behind me.
“I am pleased to be given this opportunity and I am looking forward to continuing the good job our council has been doing over the last two years.”
The result means Cr Chaffey will remain as the chairman of the Namoi Unlimited Joint Organisation (JO).
“It was pleasing to see fellow JO mayors Andrew Hope (Liverpool Plains Shire Council) and Eric Noakes (Walcha Council) in attendance for this election,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Their presence signifies the terrific working relationship we have with our neighbouring councils.
“Now it is up to us as a council to continue the good work put in by this council over its first two years.”
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