Tony takes the top job

New Mayor Tony Stevenson with new Deputy Mayor Richard Higgins.

Tony Stevenson is the new Yarra Ranges Mayor.

The Chandler Ward representative was elected unopposed at a council meeting on Tuesday 13 November.

Cr Richard Higgins nominated Cr Stevenson for the role – the only nomination put forward.

“If Cr Higgins hadn’t nominated you, I most certainly would have,” outgoing mayor Len Cox said.

Cr Stevenson said it was the calibre of his colleagues that encouraged him to be a councillor and made him want to be mayor.

“We have a very functional, high-performing council,” he said.

He paid tribute to Cr Cox, who was elected to the Shire of Lillydale in 1982 and served two terms are president.

He became the first mayor of the Yarra Ranges and has since served another three terms.

Next year will be his 35th as a councillor.

“Cr Cox has been and continues to be an outstanding contributor to our community and to local government,” Cr Stevenson said.

“Oftentimes he’s as calm as a pussycat, but on the issues that matter he’s a lion.”

The new mayor thanked his wife of almost 25 years and their three children for their support.

“It’s not a great job being the spouse of a councillor,” he said.

“Being mayor is an honour but it’s also a demanding role.”

Cr Stevenson pledged to work hard in the role, listing appointing a new council CEO and building the new civic centre among the greatest challenges ahead.

Richard Higgins will serve as Deputy Mayor.

“Our council’s moving from strength to strength,” he said.

“I think it’s a great place to be at the moment.”