The Prado, the $35,000 salary and the plush robes and gold chains were handed in to Blue Mountains City Council last night (Tuesday) as Liberal Mayor Daniel Myles stepped down from the role.
“I’ll probably take the train home, or maybe Brendan Christie will give me a lift,” he told the Blue Mountains Gazette.
In what was tipped to be an uncontested ballot, the Labor deputy for the past three years, Mark Greenhill, was standing for the top job, picking up those perks. He plans to make the mayoral car available to “all councillors on council business” and pass on the robes and chains.
“It’s not my thing,” he added.
Independent councillor Brendan Luchetti, a 43-year-old schoolteacher whose grandfather Tony Luchetti was a Labor MP for Macquarie, was expected to be voted in for the deputy’s role.
Clr Greenhill said the current mayor Daniel Myles had been a “unifying figure” who “has asked me to stand and offered me his support”.
Over the weekend Clr Greenhill was alerting all the councillors of the plans and had already sought reduced hours at his work as a HR manager in the public sector.
“If elected, one of my first acts will be to formally recognise his [the mayor’s] outstanding service and to appoint him to a committee that will oversee the projects he has set in train. Daniel is a great friend to me and it is an honour to have been able to support him. I regard him very, very highly,” Clr Greenhill, 46, said.
Clr Luchetti, who was elected on the Save our Springwood banner two terms ago, said he hoped to make “a positive contribution to the continued good governance of this council... If our nominations are supported by our colleagues, I look forward to working closely with Clr Greenhill in meeting the ongoing challenges faced by council.”
Outgoing mayor Daniel Myles, 40, who has been on the council since 1999 and has been the mayor since September 2010, said he was proud of his achievements in tourism, the bicentenary, protecting the Local Environment Plan and delivering a “stable, bipartisanal approach” to council.
“We should be very grateful. Some councils are very dysfunctional. In the Hawkesbury you have councillors walking out of meetings,” he said.
He denied a secret deal had been in place for some time to let Labor have the mayoralty, as did Clr Greenhill whose concerns about aspects of this year’s bicentenary celebrations have been documented by the Gazette.
“There’s no deal. I could have gone on with Mark’s support.”
Clr Myles said the new mayor could help steer the council through the coming challenges of waste management and would bring “enthusiasm and passion” to the role.
“He’s one of the best public speakers I have ever seen.”
Clr Myles, who previously worked as a media advisor for Liberal Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells, said he was looking forward to spending more time with his girlfriend Valerie Tarela, an events organiser working with sitting Federal Liberal MP Louise Markus.