KEVIN Mack has been elected mayor of Albury after a stunning backflip brought to an end the four-year reign of Cr Alice Glachan last night.
The deputy mayor for the past 12 months ruled himself out of contention last Friday.
But after speaking with his employer, Victoria Police, late on the same day about long service arrangements to dedicate the time to being mayor, Cr Mack said he had a sudden change of heart.
Cr Glachan didn’t stand for re-election and Cr Mack, a former Albury citizen-of-the-year, beat Cr Daryl Betteridge for the post, 5-4.
Cr Betteridge also lost the race for deputy mayor, 5-4, which went to Cr Henk van de Ven, who had indicated he would stand for mayor based on Cr Mack not doing so.
Cr Mack had the support of Cr van de Ven, Cr Darren Cameron, Cr Ross Jackson and Cr David Thurley.
The same five councillors were behind the return of Cr van de Ven as deputy mayor after previously serving in the role for three years.
Cr Mack’s wife Jill and children Willson, 12, and Lucy, 9, were in the gallery last night, along with long-time friend Bill Forge.
Cr Mack said he was yet to formally apply for long service leave.
“I’ve checked with my employer and they indicated I could take long service if required,” he said.
“I am going to wait and see what this role entails in the next few weeks.
“It is a difficult one because I had to find out the conditions and secondary employment is one of the issues they have.”
Cr Mack had previously mentioned difficulties experienced by one of his Wodonga police colleagues, Larry Goldsworthy, in juggling his regular job and being Indigo mayor.
Cr Mack is a Leading Sen-Constable and is actively involved with youth.
He was elected to Albury Council last year along with Cr Cameron, Cr Jackson, Cr Thurley and Cr Graham Docksey, who supported Cr Betteridge in the mayoral vote.
“It was great to spend the 12 months with Alice and learn the ropes,” Cr Mack said after the vote last night.
“She has been a great advocate and a great support.
“My style is fairly inclusive and I will be speaking regularly with the councillors on what is happening.”
Cr van de Ven said he was satisfied to be deputy mayor again and conceded he didn’t have the numbers on Saturday night.
“I just couldn’t get the numbers again and left it to Kevin,” he said.
“I can look myself in the mirror and say every decision I’ve made on council is for what I believe to be the best interests for Albury.
“Kevin has done a good job as deputy mayor and I felt we needed a change.”
Cr Docksey lost a bid to have the mayoral election held as a secret ballot.
Cr Betteridge’s consolation prize was chairman of the planning and development committee and Cr Jackson was elected chairman of engineering and works.
Cr Patricia Gould will be chair of the community and cultural committee and Cr van de Ven will also be in charge of finance and administration.