COMPUTER repairman Brian Mitchell will replace Tim Quilty on Wodonga Council but don’t expect him to be as outspoken as his predecessor.
The 66 year-old grandfather was elected to council on Monday after the Victorian Electoral Commission conducted a countback at The Cube entertainment centre in Wodonga.
Cr Mitchell was shocked to win, having just stepped away from a job at a heating and cooling showroom.
“I really came in just to observe the result,” Cr Mitchell told those gathered, including mayor Anna Speedie and acting council chief executive Leon Schultz.
“I really didn’t expect to be the successful candidate.”
Like Mr Quilty, Cr Mitchell has held an executive position on the committee of the Wodonga Ratepayers’ Association.
However, he was reluctant to say he would be in the same mould as Mr Quilty who was outspoken and critical of council spending.
“I wouldn’t compare myself,” Cr Mitchell said.
“I’m not an attention getter, I believe that hard work gets results.”
Asked what he brought to the council chamber, Cr Mitchell said “hopefully a lot of commonsense”.
“I think what the council is doing now is great,” he said.
“They are achieving and I will become another cog in that wheel.”
Asked about the council’s move to ban circuses with exotic animals on municipal land, Cr Mitchell said he disagreed with it.
“I think the circuses have over the years gained a great deal of acceptance with regard to looking after their animals and I don’t see exclusion from Wodonga land as a way of rectifying any perceived problems,” he said.
Mr Quilty’s seat on council became vacant after he won a place in the Victorian Upper House with the Liberal Democrats in November’s state election.
He welcomed Cr Mitchell’s rise, which followed the distribution of his preferences from the 2016 council ballot.
“I’m sure Brian will do a good job, it will be interesting to see how he gets on with the other councillors,” Mr Quilty said.
“I’m planning to have a sit down with him and have a chat.
“I would say he would vote more with Libby (Hall) and Ron (Mildren) than the other group, but I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Since 2016, split council votes have largely been 4-3 with Cr Speedie and councillors Danny Lowe, Kat Bennett and John Watson the majority and Cr Hall, Cr Mildren and then Cr Quilty the minority.