City of Whyalla councillors will elect a new deputy mayor at next week’s ordinary meeting.
Jenny Barnes, the present deputy mayor, has stepped down after gaining fulltime employment with Council.
Ms Barnes was successful in her application for an advertised position with Council as Executive Assistant – People Culture and Community.
She has consequently stepped down as deputy mayor and as a councillor for the City of Whyalla.
Speaking to the Whyalla News, Ms Barnes looked back on the trials and tribulations during her time as both an elected member and Deputy Mayor.
“We have been through some very tumultuous times since being elected in November 2014,” she said.
“Our well loved and long serving Mayor, Jim Pollock, became ill and subsequently passed away...Arrium went into receivership and the uncertain outcome until the steelworks was sold impacted on the community.”
But Ms Barnes was confident that the city and the council had ‘turned the corner’.
Ms Barnes said the council had achieved ‘fantastic’ outcomes such as re-branding Whyalla, replacing the Snapper Competition with the successful UneARTh Festival, committing to building a new jetty and voting for a zero rate rise in the current financial year.
“It has been an amazing experience and I am so appreciative that I have had the opportunity to represent the wonderful Whyalla community. It has been an absolute privilege and I thank them for their faith in me,” she said.
“I would also like to communicate my thanks and appreciation to the other members of Council who have served this term alongside me. I have learnt something from each of them.”
CEO Chris Cowley said Ms Barnes’ appointment to the executive assistant role was a win for the Council operations considering her extensive experience as a former council employee.
Ms Barnes worked for the City of Whyalla for 20 years, reaching the position of Tourism Manager before moving to a role in administration with SA Health.
“Jenny has been a real asset to Whyalla in her roles as an elected member and will bring some valuable expertise and experience into this executive assistant role with Council,” Mr Cowley said.
“This job was advertised through a regular platforms and a rigorous and complete recruitment process was undertaken.
“Jenny has enjoyed undertaking contract administrative roles in the public sector over the last few years and saw this as an opportunity to return to local government as an employee which she had enjoyed previously.
“Upon being advised that she was the successful candidate, it was determined that Jenny would step down from being an elected member immediately to alleviate any perceived conflicts.”
Ms Barnes new role will be provide support services to the People, Culture & Community Group and the wider group. Her position as councillor will not be filled before the 2018 November elections.