Change at top as deputy mayor relinquishes role

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill congratulates outgoing deputy mayor Brendan Luchetti in Springwood last week.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill congratulates outgoing deputy mayor Brendan Luchetti in Springwood last week.

The Blue Mountains has a new deputy mayor after Ward 1 councillor Brendan Luchetti stepped down from the role on Tuesday evening.

Liberal Party councillor Chris Van der Kley was due to be elected the new deputy at Tuesday night's council meeting.

"Due to increased demands on the home front, I will not be standing as deputy mayor again this year," Clr Luchetti said last week.

"It has been a privilege to serve my community in this role over the past 12 months. It has been a difficult time for the Mountains community and for Blue Mountains City Council with the fires of October last year being a defining event and council's response in supporting affected residents our greatest challenge.

"Council has also met the challenges of ushering through a draft LEP, commencing a conversation with the community about a special rates variation whilst also undertaking a review of council services in this time."

Clr Luchetti said the current council "is a good council".

"As an independent I have found it easy to work with both Liberal and Labor councillors to get the best outcomes for the Mountains. I look forward to supporting the councillors Greenhill and Van der Kley in their leadership roles through the many challenges that lay ahead."

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill paid tribute to the service of the outgoing deputy.

"Brendan's service to the city needs to be recognised," he said.

"During our combined term we have confronted, in the first month, the biggest single loss of property from a bushfire in the Mountains, a state government that was reluctant to clear the blocks, the early handing over to council of the recovery process and inadequate funding for that recovery from the state.

"We set up a Mayoral Relief Fund and raised nearly $3.5m without assistance from the other two levels of government. We put in place an administration for the fund along with a board. We have now distributed most of the money with all proceeds going only to the survivors."

The mayor has asked council officers to prepare for the creation of an alternative deputy mayor position. He has asked Cr Luchetti to stand for this role.

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