Yass’ new leadership team is set to hit the ground running this year with Allan McGrath and Jasmin Jones elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively.
Allan previously served two terms on Yass Valley Council and spent over 20 years on the former Queanbeyan now Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council as a councillor and deputy mayor.
“I’m looking forward to a Council which is a united team and works together for the benefit of the Yass Valley,” Allan said.
Jasmin said she was absolutely honoured to be paired with Allan for the leadership team.
“I’ll be doing everything I can to support Allan and the rest of the new councillors in particular, find their feet and connect with the community,” Jasmin said.
Allan won five of the nine votes needed to secure the top job in Yass’ mayoral contest beating out fellow nominee Kim Turner who is entering his third term of Council.
Allan also received the highest number of votes in the local election with 1040 or 11 per cent of the total enrolment of 12,489 registered voters.
Throughout his election campaign Allan spoke on his desire for a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous community focusing on issues like environment, employment and infrastructure.
Jasmin received five out of nine votes needed to become Deputy Mayor, defeating first time councillor Cayla Pothan and Kim Turner who also nominated.
Entering her third term on Yass Valley Council, Jasmin received 820 votes in the election or 8.7 per cent.
“I’m feeling very confident that I’ve got my finger on the pulse,” Jasmin said. “I’m always available if a resident ever needs help with an issue.”
“I’m always happy to have a chat and see what we can do to connect the dots and get them in touch with whatever services they need.”
Jasmin pitched her election campaign on issues ranging from healthcare, the need for a local heated pool and infrastructure improvements like roads and water.
The pair were both vocal during the election period about improving Yass’ main street and including the Liberty Theatre as part of the Community Strategic Plan.
Allan said his past council experience has given him the insights needed to handle whatever comes up provided he has the team behind him.
“We make decisions on a collective basis,” he said. “I just have to be a first among equals really.”
Allan said he has every confidence that he and Jasmin will work well together as the pair share some common aspirations.
It’s a similar sentiment with the rest of the new council.
“I think we have a lot in common,” he said. “We’re all traveling in the same direction.”
“Some of us might have slightly different priorities or different ways and means of getting there.
“But as long as we’re all going in the same direction, I think it can only be of benefit to the community.”
The fresh-faced Yass Valley Council, which was sworn in at their first meeting on Wednesday, January 12, is Allan McGrath, Jasmin Jones, Adrian Cameron, Cayla Pothan, Cecil Burgess, Jim Abbey, Kim Turner, Kristin Butler and Mike Reid.
By Brianna O’Rourke