Rodney Wangman lauds Lisa Mahood for defying the stabs in the back to represent Wodonga as mayor

Wodonga mayor Lisa Mahood “often” took a “knife in the back” in leading the city, her successor believes. 

Rodney Wangman made the observation in a formal tribute to Cr Mahood.

"What many people don't see in the role of the mayor is that you often have to go in and fight really hard in awkward circumstances and you did that taking many, many hits on the chin, a few bruises on the face and often a knife in the back,” Cr Wangman said.

The remark at this week’s council meeting was part of an urgent business item by Cr Wangman to laud Cr Mahood who was mayor from 2002 to 2006.

Departing duo: Lisa Mahood with Rodney Wangman at a council meeting in 2006. They are  ending their terms as city representatives after long stints.

Departing duo: Lisa Mahood with Rodney Wangman at a council meeting in 2006. They are ending their terms as city representatives after long stints.

He did not elaborate on when or why Cr Mahood had been figuratively stabbed.

But he did note there had been differences between them.

"You and I have had many occasions where we've had great debates, but I said to you one day that 95 per cent of the time we swung with the same bat and I'm going to miss your advocacy for this community and I do sincerely wish you well and thank you for much of the work that you've done over that 16 years,” Cr Wangman said.

He cited Cr Mahood’s “great legacies” as being community and youth achievement awards and the creation of the Logic industrial estate at Barnawartha North.

"You were a strong advocate...for the establishment of Logic, at a time when everyone felt that that would never be of any great value to this community, there will still be some Lisa today that say it's not of great value to this community, I'm not one of them,” Cr Wangman said.

"I think it sets an employment hub for this community for many, many years ahead future councils will gain the benefit of income streams as a consequence of the sale of that land, as a consequence then of the rate base that increases and also as a consequence of the participation that those businesses will bring to the community.”

Mayor Anna Speedie also noted Cr Wangman’s exit from council and the hole in experience left.

"It is a great legacy that you leave,” Cr Speedie said of Cr Mahood.

"I think that being the leader of a community does take a courageous person and the challenges that you have on family and on your personal time is huge.”

It is a great legacy that you leave - Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie on Lisa Mahood

Other than telling Cr Wangman it was not urgent business, Cr Mahood did not comment on the tributes that left her teary-eyed.

She and Cr Wangman, who was mayor from 2006-08 and 2013-15, embraced at the end of the accolades.

The outgoing council will meet for the last time on October 17 with the election result for a new administration to be announced the following week.

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