FORMER Albury mayor Kevin Mack is set to reclaim the city’s top job after winning the support of Greens councillor Amanda Cohn.
Incumbent leader Henk van de Ven claimed Cr Cohn had been “sweet-talked” by Cr Mack into shifting her support away from him with an offer of the deputy mayoralty.
“Amanda has been seduced by the offer of the deputy mayor’s job,” Cr van de Ven said.
He said Cr Cohn had backed him to be mayor before and after the election and he felt let down.
“It’s not a real good start,” Cr van de Ven said.
“You want to have a good functioning council and you get a commitment from somebody and before you sit down around the table the level of trust is not there.”
But Cr Cohn said the strong vote for Cr Mack in the council election had changed her thinking as well as his belief in climate change which she noted contrasted with Cr van de Ven’s fence sitting.
“I made a commitment to Henk before the election that I thought he had done a good job as mayor, particularly holding (member for Albury) Greg Aplin to account and promoting solar panels,” Cr Cohn said.
“Unfortunately Henk assumed that would ensure my support following the election but the community has come out overwhelmingly in support of Kevin Mack and I think I owe it to the Albury community to support Kevin Mack.”
Cr Cohn said she had discussed the deputy mayoralty with Cr Mack and “absolutely” believed she was capable of fulfilling that role despite being a new councillor.
The Green’s backing of Cr Mack means he should have the five votes needed to defeat Cr van de Ven in a mayoral election.
Labor councillor Darren Cameron will support him alongside his successful running mates John Stuchbery and Murray King.
Cr Mack was not willing to claim victory but said “all things being equal hopefully the vote will be in my favour”.
He welcomed Cr Cohn’s support, but denied offering her the deputy mayoralty.
“I reject that assertion wholeheartedly, I’ve not in anyway offered Amanda anything,” Cr Mack said.
“Amanda is her own boss.”
Cr Mack suggested there were three contenders for the deputy’s job, Cr Cohn, incumbent David Thurley or one of his team.
Cr van de Ven said he still planned to contest the mayoral election on Monday evening, despite his bid being seemingly doomed.