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HomeIssue 15Fireworks expected over Deputy Mayor position

Fireworks expected over Deputy Mayor position

The new town council’s first meeting on Monday is heading for the first factional fireworks.
New councillor Steve Brown (right), who scored the highest number of votes, is expecting to be appointed Deputy Mayor but he seems set to miss out.
Re-elected councillor Liz Martin, the Deputy Mayor for the last year of the 11th Council, says she will give her vote to Brendan Heenan (left).
Mayor Damien Ryan and new Councillors Jade Kudrenko and Chansey Paech are also tipped to be voting against Cr Brown, one of the Gang of Four conservative Councillors, three of whom also stood against the Mayor.
Cr Martin says Cr Brown is better suited to head up technical services: “He’s the ideal choice for that position,” she says.
“The Deputy Mayor needs to know procedure and it should be someone who’s served on the council before.
“We need to give the new members a chance to learn.”
The Deputy Mayor serves for one year of the four year term.
The position will be filled at the first meeting of the 12th Council to be held on Monday, as will be the other positions of heads of committees.
Monday’s meeting will be preceded by the swearing-in of the new council.


  1. I’ll go.
    If Steve Brown isn’t appointed Deputy you have to wonder about this line being trotted out as a “United Council” we can move forward.
    We are already in a shambles.
    Clearly he was 2nd in the Mayoral Race and 1st in the overall Councillor vote.
    When Damien was appointed to Mayor four years ago there were zero cries of “let him cut his teeth”, he went straight into the role as he should.
    Steve Brown is 58 years young and has a wealth of experience and knowledge that the voters want to see actioned in Council number 12.
    It will be baffling if this is ignored.
    Message to the New Council, to stand up straight and do the right thing by the Voters.
    Brendan is a good man but we need some new talent there in the Deputy role.
    It’s the right course of action before Council number 12 becomes like Swiss cheese without even sitting a meeting.

  2. Renz (@Posted April 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm):
    “Unity” may only be achieved if all members agree to abide by the Council’s conventions, guidelines and procedures. The deputy Mayor position is usually rotated, and does not go automatically to whoever received the next biggest vote after the Mayor. I believe that the great majority of townspeople would see Brendan as an eminently sensible choice as the first Deputy Mayor in this new Council. He is highly respected as a consistently hardworking community-minded person, a thoughtful operator who is well known and trusted by a broad cross section of the community. Some other councillors got higher first preference votes, but do not command the same broad level of respect.
    If any of the new members reproduce the childish behaviours exhibited by Murray and Ely when they were elected, then there will be a real danger that this Council will quickly become a dysfunctional mess. You will remember that those two also thought they should get special treatment because they had been elected with relatively large scores of the votes. It is an egotistical, immature attitude for new members (and their close supporters) to take this approach. Steve may have been first in the votes for councillors, but 85% of those voting did not give him their first preference for Councillor, and more than 75% did not give him their first preference for Mayor. In fact, when Damien achieved his clear quota, becoming Mayor with over 55% of preferences, Steve still had less than 40%. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the NT Electoral Commission website.

  3. There is no entitlement to the position of Deputy Mayor and I would be surprised if Steve Brown expected to gain the position on the basis of the votes in the council election.
    The D/Mayor is elected by the Council, and they will take many things into account, and come up with the best person for the job. Let’s hope the Council can get over this first hurdle without acrimony.
    Eli has handed back the boxing gloves, that is a good start.

  4. Who knows who it is? People should have the courage to put their full name their posts.
    [ED – Ian made this comment about a post we removed because it did not comply with our nom de plume policy which is as follows: “Our rules are that if you are attacking a person, you need to provide, for publication, your full name and town / city of residence, plus a phone number for verification purposes. Playing the ball rather than the person advances the conversation and better helps to further explore issues. We will not publish your email address nor your phone number.]

  5. In response to the writer – Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm regarding “childish behaviours exhibited by Murray and Ely.” (Eli).
    I would like to start by saying how proud I am to be elected onto the 12th Council for a second term and will serve my Community with distinction.
    I appreciate that being a public figure will attract all kinds of comments, some good and some bad.
    Notwithstanding that during the election I was the target of a dirty campaign that attracted derogatory and insulting comments from Members of the Country Liberals, Rotary Club of Alice Springs, AS Running and walking C, fellow aldermen and their partners, Labor and Greens Party, fellow candidates with one on two occasions being verbally abusive, and regular writers to this news paper. None have infuriated me as much as this particular post.
    I have taken great offence to those comments. I ask the writer to provide an apology for those comments to both Murray and myself via your website immediately.
    Eli Melky

  6. The vote is in, the results tallied, and if we are to have any chance of a functioning Council over the course of the next four years, we need to stand back and let the winners get on with it.
    If called for, there will be time enough later to criticize.
    For now I congratulate Damien Ryan on winning a second term, and all eight Councillors on their successful efforts to represent Alice Springs.
    One among them will be elected Deputy Mayor. And in a year’s time it will go to a different one. Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill.

  7. Unity is a big word, when you have a town divided over how to deal with its twice national average alcohol consumption. Unity, in these circumstances, is like that word “icon” – a meaningless thing, turfed out by a paradigm shift in modern values. Community? What is that in Alice Springs these days?
    If what Brendan Heenan says is true about online ordering of interstate alcohol being “tonnes of the stuff, everyday” arriving in Alice, then Alice could very well be three times the national average grog consumption. Now, that’s a figure to be proud of, Brendan! However, it’s only an anecdotal statement, at this stage.
    What it suggests is that those who are ordering, need a credit card, a computer / and or telephone. These do not fit the criteria of problem drinkers. It also suggests that those responsible for ordering this amount of grog are themselves hardly in a position to call the kettle black and when it comes to the $15b p.a. taxpayer funded cost of alcohol-abuse, problem drinkers themselves.
    It seems that they don’t want to give up their addiction for the purposes of reducing the alcohol-related problems in the NT and rather it be “business as usual” so that tourists are not inconvenienced and locals, including their binge-drinking youth, and urban drifting blackfellas, can access grog seven days a week.
    Regarding the latter, Alice Springs sets a very poor example by its seven day a week grog access and “anything goes” liberal attitude, but that gets into the moral issue and a secular State has long lost the plot on that one. Alice Springs Town Council unity, excuse me while I kiss the sky!

  8. Aaah well Renz, I came second in the 2008 mayoral race and I didn’t see you outraged that I never became deputy. It really is up to the councillors of the day to vote for a deputy they support.
    ED – Sorry Jane, but you came third in the 2008 mayoral contest. Murray Stewart came second. There were eight candidates: Damien Ryan won with 39.6% of the vote, Murray was second with 19.5%, and you, third with 15.5%, followed by David Koch with 14%. Murray was elected deputy mayor for the first 12 months.


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