The media has reported Mayor Clyne’s decision to take leave as from the week commencing 11 September, then resign in January 2018. The purpose of this arrangement is to negate the need for a costly and disruptive Local Government by-election.
The Mayor’s rationale for taking leave now is to ensure that the integrity of the position remains as un-politicised as practicable.
What will happen as far as the role of Mayor is concerned, over the next few months?
The Deputy Mayor (Cr Don Palmer) will assume the duties of the Mayor until January2018. There will be no acting Mayor while the Mayor is absent as the Mayoral position is one elected by the people and he therefore holds this position until such time as he resigns from the Council.
Presuming the Mayor resigns from the Council early next year as he has stated, then the Elected Members will vote for a Mayor from within their ranks. The ‘internally elected’ Mayor will hold the office until the Local Government elections in November 2018. A Deputy Mayor position may also be elected from within the Council, as per our normal practice.
There is a formal procedure that must be followed and a ‘Leave of Absence’ item will be on the Agenda for the September Council Meeting. If the Motion is passed, this will enable the Mayor to take his planned Leave. He will not use the Mayoral office or car during his leave and Council will not pay for his phone or internet.
Clearly, it will be ‘business as usual’ – just a different person at the helm.