Councillor David Wortmann has reflected on a "horrendous" 12 months for Towong Shire after being returned unopposed as mayor for another year.
The five-member team, including two newcomers, Denise Anderson and Peter Dikschei, met for the first time since the recent election yesterday at Tallangatta with the Upper Murray bushfires last summer followed by the COVID-19 pandemic still fresh in the mayor's mind.
"To say the last 12 months were difficult is an understatement," he said.
"I've got to say at times it was horrible.
"Other councils will go through a crisis like this, but I don't wish it upon anyone.
"It was horrendous."
Cr Dikschei, a former policeman who served more than two years in charge of the Corryong station, was elected deputy mayor unopposed.
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Cr Andrew Whitehead, who was also successful in being re-elected for a second term, didn't seek a return to the position with another former mayor Cr Aaron Scales also re-elected.
Cr Wortmann paid tribute to retiring councillors Peter Tolsher and Jennie Star with the latter experiencing first hand the impact of bushfires.
"Their property was burnt out," Cr Wortmann said.
"But she kept fronting up to meetings when she had so much to do at home.
"It had a lot to do with why she didn't run (for council) again."
Cr Wortmann also acknowledged the council, staff led by chief executive Juliana Phelps, with many cutting short holidays to return to work to deal with the unfolding bushfire crisis.
Cr Anderson is from Bellbridge.
Cr Wortmann enters his sixth term as mayor which is one short of the record served by Mary Fraser since the formation of Towong Shire in 1994.
He polled more than 30 per cent of first preference votes at the recent election.
Meanwhile, Cr Libro Mustica was returned as mayor of Moira Shire on Wednesday night.
He beat Cr Peter Mansfield in a 5-4 vote and council newcomer Cr Julie Brooks was elected deputy mayor 5-4 over Cr Peter Lawless.
Wodonga Council will create history on Monday when the public will not be permitted to attend the mayor and deputy mayor elections due to ongoing COVID restrictions.
Councillors John Watson, Ron Mildren, Kev Poulton and Graeme Simpfendorfer have expressed mayoral aspirations, but Kat Bennett has ruled herself out.
Indigo Shire mayor and deputy mayor elections will be held next week with Cr Jenny O'Connor tipped to retain the job.
The councillor group of O'Connor, Sophie Price, Peter Croucher, Larry Goldsworthy, Roberta Horne, Diane Shepheard and Bernard Gaffney will be sworn in on Thursday night.