Deputy job on hold
THE new leader of the Southern Downs is all but confirmed but likely mayor Peter Blundell yesterday said there was still no-one lined up for second in charge.
"I am ringing around to talk to those who appear to have been elected, just to congratulate them," he said.
"But those discussions will be had in the future."
When asked if geography could play a part in who would end up in the deputy mayor's seat, Stanthorpe's Cr Blundell supported the idea of spreading the leadership around.
"Personally I think it could be a good thing to have a deputy from the northern part of the region," he said.
Many of the mayoral candidates openly said they would chose their deputy based on whoever had the highest votes, which would have had Cr Ross Bartley as the favourite yesterday morning.
Cr Jo McNally is trailing him by about 20 votes - with both of them from the northern end of the region.
Cr Blundell finished the weekend with 4546 votes, more than 2300 ahead of nearest rival Mally McMurtrie.
He confirmed that his partner, economic development officer Sarah Reeves, would announce her resignation from the Southern Downs Regional Council "at an appropriate time" after he revealed she would step down at a Daily News election forum if he was elected.
"I can't explain how big that sacrifice is," he said.
"Sarah has been excellent at her job, highly professional and highly-qualified. I am in awe of her support and commitment to me in that position and I hope I can return as much support in the endeavours she makes post her position with local government."
Cr Blundell said he was surprised there weren't more new faces joining the ranks - with all but two incumbent councillors among the top eight as the Daily News went to print last night.
"I actually thought we may have seen more change... it is a team we can work with, there is no doubt about that," he said.