Jenny O'Connor is ready to return to the job of Indigo Shire mayor after a year away, and keen to resume her leadership role with a focus on tackling climate change.
This time last year, Cr O'Connor was preparing to run as an independent in Benambra in the Victorian state election, meaning she was forced to not run for another term as mayor.
But at a special meeting of Indigo Council on Tuesday night, she was elected unopposed, as former mayor Bernard Gaffney chose to decline his nomination to run again.
Speaking to The Border Mail, Cr O'Connor said climate change was "absolutely almost the number one issue right now".
"While we're not in a current fire emergency like NSW and Queensland, we could be at any time and no doubt will be over the coming fire season," she said.
"I know that it's a huge concern to our community right across Indigo Shire and personally it's a huge concern to me.
"I'll be doing absolutely everything I can to try to make sure our communities are prepared to deal with what is an increasing crisis."
Cr O'Connor had been encouraged by others to run for mayor again, as they wanted to see strong leadership.
She told last night's meeting she was privileged to hold the position and would continue Cr Gaffney's work of strong advocacy for more government funding.
"I intend to spend as much time as I can in Canberra and Spring Street because we are not resourced well enough to provide the services to meet the expectations of our communities, and that's not good enough," she said.
Although Cr O'Connor ran unopposed, Cr Gaffney and Cr James Trenery voted against her election.
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Cr Sophie Price was unanimously elected to the deputy major role, after she was the only one nominated.
"I look forward to working with you all and the community around what we need to do in the remaining 12 months (before the next council elections)," she said.
Cr O'Connor said her deputy had "a tremendous amount to offer" and wanted to develop the position further over the next year.
"I don't think that role has been utilised traditionally in Indigo Shire," she said.
"(Cr Price) represents a whole new demographic to what we're used to on council - a young mum.
"She's a really clear thinker, she's a great advocate.
"Sophie and I don't always see eye to eye on everything so we have different views, which I think is great."
Councillors also voted for them to receive the maximum available payment of $20,636 per year, as set by the Victorian government.
"The work that councillors do at 20-odd thousand dollars they receive - it costs money to be on here," Cr Trenery said.
"We're glorified volunteers and I'm happy with that."
The mayor's payment will be $61,651 for the year.
"The mayoral role is a full-time role and you often start work early in the morning and you don't get home until late at night driving on roads to dodge kangaroos and deer. I think you deserve every cent of it," Cr Gaffney said.
Alpine Council also elected a new mayor last night, with Cr Peter Roper replacing Cr Ron Janas after a 4-3 vote.