COUNCILLOR Robyn Jenkins was elected as deputy mayor at Wednesday night's Greater Taree City Council meeting.
Serving in her inaugural term for the 2012-2016 council, the new deputy mayor succeeds councillor Alan Tickle, who served in the position during the previous one-year deputy mayor term.
Cr Tickle congratulated Cr Jenkins on her appointment and thanked the community for their support.
"I'm honoured to have served the community as the deputy mayor over the past 12 months," he said.
"I'm very grateful for the kind words to me in the council chambers by mayor Paul Hogan and more particularly for the number of messages I've received from members of the community.
"Congratulations to Cr Jenkins and I hope we can all work together including all tiers of government to meet the challenges that are facing this region," he said.
Deputy mayors are elected by councillors either for a one-year period, or for the remainder of the current council term. In last night's decision, councillors chose to elect Cr Jenkins for the one year period beginning yesterday.
Five councillors nominated, including the incumbent Cr Tickle, along with Crs Epov, Bell, Jenkins and West.
Once the votes were cast, preferential balloting was tallied at the meeting, and Cr Jenkins was declared elected for the September 2013 - September 2014 period.
"Cr Tickle has done a great job over the last year as deputy mayor, and has been a great support to me and the team. I am looking forward to working with councillor Jenkins and congratulate her on her appointment as deputy mayor," mayor Paul Hogan said.
"I appreciate the confidence shown in me by my colleagues and am very much looking forward to the job," added deputy mayor Jenkins.
"I have an enormous learning curve ahead and want to make a positive and useful contribution to Greater Taree City Council in the coming 12 months, working collaboratively with the community, the mayor, my councillor colleagues, the executive leadership team and all council staff.
"I am committed to working towards a best practice council, focussed on value for money and top-quality customer service."
Cr Jenkins outlined the many challenges facing Greater Taree City Council, including budget issues and roads.
"We have many challenges, not least of which is a budget which is insufficient to meet the costs it needs to cover. Roads are a perennial problem," she continued.
"However, there may be hope this critical issue for most local councils throughout Australia will be addressed by the state and federal governments."
Deputy mayor Jenkins looks forward to finding innovative ways to encourage and support economic development in a manner which ensures the pristine condition of the Manning Valley is safeguarded while also generating jobs and a better life for those of us who call this wonderful place home.
"I will continue to listen to the concerns of Manning Valley residents, about what is important to them and help them understand how council can respond," concluded the new deputy mayor.