Rocky council votes in Acting Mayor after Strelow bombshell
EIGHTEEN months after being dropped as Rockhampton Region's deputy mayor, Tony Williams is back and not taking his new role lightly.
In front of a packed council chambers, Cr Williams received unanimous support from councillors yesterday to step into the acting mayor role.
Cr Williams will replace Margaret Strelow, who delivered a bombshell on Monday when she declared she had stood aside from City Hall to contest the upcoming state election as an independent.
With Deputy Mayor Cherie Rutherford currently on leave, the first business at yesterday's council meeting was to choose an Acting Mayor.
Cr Williams was welcomed with open arms by fellow councillors who all rose after Cr Fisher proposed his colleague had a world of political knowledge perfect for the position.
"I believe he will present himself to the best of his abilities and be an outstanding mayor,” he said.
Cr Williams was ready to take on this role saying he hinted his interest in stepping up when Margaret Strelow was preparing for the pre-selection for Rockhampton's Labor candidate.
"I don't take this position lightly and I know it has a great weight behind it,” he said.
"I will commit to work with everyone and the community to the best of my ability.
"The unanimous support goes a long way and doesn't go unnoticed even though my role is only temporary.”
Cr Williams said Acting CEO Ross Cheesman approached him about matching his income with that of mayoral status.
He declined the offer saying he felt honoured to be in this position and it was not a monitory influence.
"I am humbled by this support as politics can sometimes be a roll with the punches type thing,” he said.
"But I'm happy to be a steady hand in moments of uncertainty and it's great to hear feedback about my ability to perform the role.”
He had already been in deep discussion about the projects being prioritised coming up to the state election with more details to come.
"We are currently looking at projects suited for our three electorates, Rockhampton, Keppel and Mirani, and are working with fellow councillors to prioritise these projects for the intended candidates for each electorate,” he said.
Cr Williams will remain Acting Mayor until November 30.