Post-lockdown recovery in 2022 will be led by newly elected mayors in four North East local government areas.
Six-time Towong mayor David Wortmann will not contest the position at today's council meeting.
After a trying term at with bushfires and COVID-19, Cr Wortmann said it was "time for a change".
"As we got into it with the new council, I just realised I was a bit tired," he said.
"It's an enjoyable role, there's no doubt about that, but it's time for someone else to have the opportunity."
Bernard Gaffney, installed as mayor for a fifth term at Indigo Council last night, flagged the recovery ahead.
"We've been fortunate to get bushfire grants and stimulus grants from both the state and federal governments; these grants are about to dry up, and things are going to get a lot tougher," he said.
"We need to support small business and major employers ... we also need to zone more land for affordable housing and for industry."
Cr Larry Goldsworthy was also nominated for the role.
"Cycle tourism, heritage tourism, agriculture, food, wine and brewing are all going to be integral to lifting our local economy out of the economic malaise lockdowns," he said.
"I have a history of supporting the budget process; not voting against the budget because I don't agree with one aspect of it."
Cr Gaffney was elected with four votes to three to serve a one year term as mayor, while Cr Peter Croucher will serve for two years as deputy mayor.
"I am proud of what we have achieved so far, but there is still an enormous amount of work to be done ... as our region begins to recover from the challenges of the last two years," Wangaratta mayor Dean Rees said.
Outgoing Indigo mayor Jenny O'Connor said she was proud of the council's work on climate change and supporting diversity.
"This is a community I'm immensely proud of; there are 32 communities, actually, in Indigo Shire," she said.
"We're one Shire, and of course that creates lots of issues because there's so many different needs ... but I really respect and value the fact that people are so committed and proud of this wonderful part of the world."
IN OTHER NEWS:
A change in positions at Indigo and Towong follows the recent installment of new mayors at Alpine and Benalla.
Cr Wortmann said he wouldn't rule out running for mayor again in the future, if needed.
"I'll be only too happy to help the new mayor - it'll be exciting for Towong," he said.
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