Cr John Connors elected mayor of Dungog Shire Council

New mayor for Dungog

Cr John Connors is the new mayor of Dungog Shire Council, elected unopposed at an extraordinary meeting of council on Monday, March 2.

Cr Steve Low was elected unopposed to the position of deputy mayor.

The meeting followed Cr Tracy Norman's resignation from the role on February 20.

Cr Greg Riley and Cr Digby Rayward both praised Cr Norman for her work as mayor which attracted applause from the packed gallery.

Cr Riley said the previous mayor had set a great example and cited funding for a new Clarence Town bridge, Clarence Town sports funding and roads funding as "fantastic" achievements.

Cr Rayward said four words could be used to sum up Cr Norman's contribution.

"Look at the scoreboard," he said.

"No one can challenge you on that fantastic legacy that has been built that has taken this shire from a hole in the ground to a position where it is sustainable," he said.

Cr John Connors is Dungog's new mayor.

Cr John Connors is Dungog's new mayor.

Cr Norman choked up when she thanked council staff for their excellent work and the community, before standing down from the chair for the mayoral election.

Both Cr Connors and Cr Low were the sole nominees for the roles and following council guidelines were elected without the need for a vote.

Cr Connors acknowledged Cr Norman's "significant contribution" in her role as mayor.

Cr Norman's resignation from the mayoral role in reaction to recent council decisions, shocked many in the community.

But according to a council staff member there has been a "toxic atmosphere" between senior staff and some councillors over recent months.

Morale slumped with the recent resignation of general manager Coralie Nichols, the staffer said had had the council on an upward spiral.

Announcing her resignation, Cr Norman took a swipe at the councillors for the "regressive pathway" their decisions were leading the council.

She said the direction the council was taking was contra to the progress made by council during her time as mayor "and in partnership with the outgoing general manager."

"I remain extremely proud of all that we have achieved for council and for the community," she said.

"It is well recognised by the other levels of government and by our Hunter colleagues that Dungog is in a much stronger position than it has been for decades."

Cr Norman will stay on as a councillor until the September election.

Following the mayoral election the councillors moved into a confidential session to discuss options for recruiting a new general manager.

Shaun Chandler is the current acting general manager.

Cr Steve Low is Dungog Shire's deputy mayor.,

Cr Steve Low is Dungog Shire's deputy mayor.,