Sharon Tapscott has withdrawn from the mayoral race after being nominated by Merimbula councillor Kristy McBain for the position of deputy mayor.
Mrs Tapscott informed the Magnet of her decision yesterday (Wednesday) after she had given her nomination further thought over the long weekend.
“Kristy McBain nominated me on the basis of gender equality. I’ve since asked Kristy to tear up that nomination. The more I get into my role as a councillor, the more I realise the work it involves. The job of just being a councillor will be enough for me to try and understand for the first year,” she said.
Mrs Tapscott also wants to ensure she has the time she needs to get Eden’s needs onto council’s radar.
“I want to get things done on the ground for Eden people, the people who elected me. Whilst I initially thought having a gender balance at the mayoral/deputy mayor level was important, I don’t think it is now and I think whether you are male or female is irrelevant to the job. I still feel there are people better qualified and with much more experience than me to undertake these important positions,” she said.
Mrs Tapscott, who has become well known across the Bega Valley for her efforts to restore services to Pambula Hospital since 2008 through the Save Our Hospital Inc group, polled a massive 885 primary votes at the Eden polling booth alone at the council poll on September 8. That result helped her secure a position as a councillor on primary votes alone, a feat also achieved by long-term council stalwart Tony Allen.
The positions of mayor and deputy mayor will be decided this Friday (October 5) at an extraordinary council meeting. Confirmed candidates for mayor include Tony Allen, Michael Britten and Russell Fitzpatrick.
Russell Fitzpatrick and Liz Seckold are also possible contenders for the deputy mayoral position.
Nominations to the general manager Peter Tegart must be received in writing prior to the meeting. With every candidate requiring support from an elected councillor to nominate, there are limits to how many can be nominated. When there are more than two candidates nominated for mayor, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is excluded before votes are taken again until there two candidates remain. Both the mayoral and deputy mayor positions are voted on by elected councillors every year.