COFFS Harbour City Councillor George Cecato has been voted in as the new Deputy Mayor of Coffs Harbour for the coming twelve months.
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The Deputy Mayor is elected annually by fellow councillors, and this year only two councillors were nominated for the position, Cr Sally Townley and Cr George Cecato.
Cr Cecato and Cr Michael Adendorff nominated Cr Cecato for the position, and Cr Townley and outgoing Deputy Mayor Cr Tegan Swan nominated Cr Townley.
Cr Cecato received four votes and Cr Townley three votes, by an ordinary secret ballot at Council’s recent meeting on Thursday, 10 September.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Denise Knight was unable to vote for the new Deputy Mayor, after a family emergency forced her to leave the Council meeting early.
Which councillors voted for who remained confidential, and votes were destroyed following the election.
Cr Cecato has previously held the title of Deputy Mayor in 2016 and again in 2017, after being elected shortly after he was voted in for his first term on Council at the 2016 local government election.
On this previous occasion in 2016, he was again up against Cr Sally Townley.
The 2016 vote saw Cr Cecato succeed six votes to three.
Cr Cecato said he felt honoured that his fellow councillors trusted him with the position of Deputy Mayor, when contacted by News Of The Area.
“I will do my best to represent the Mayor and Council with pride and dignity,” Cr Cecato said.
Cr Cecato vowed to support Mayor Cr Denise Knight in his “best possible way.”
“I think we complement each other quite well; she is very artistic and I’m a very business-minded person, so we both bring to the table different skill sets and in many cases we complement each other,” Cr Cecato said.
“I’m going to work as close as I possibly can with her and support her.”
Cr Cecato has been a small business owner since 1985, covering retail, distribution, transport and logistics, and is also a long time Rotarian serving for 23 years.
He has also served as Coffs Coast Tourism Association president and treasurer, served on the Jetty Foreshores Reference Group, and has also served as Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce president for four years.
Cr Cecato will now hold the position of Deputy Mayor until the next local government election is held in September, 2021.
The role of Deputy Mayor is to assist the Mayor with the performance of ceremonial duties and to exercise the functions of the Mayor during periods of absence.
By Emma DARBIN