Mayor Abbey

Rowena Abbey was elected as the Yass Valley’s mayor on Wednesday night, the first female to ever occupy the seat.

She told the Tribune she was excited to take up the position.

“I’m very pleased and looking forward to the work ahead.”

What would she bring to the role?

“Hopefully strong leadership for the group and hopefully a little excitement, innovation and enthusiasm.”

Silence fell over the packed council chambers on Wednesday as the votes were collected and acting general manager Sheri Norton conducted the count.

There were around 70 people in the public gallery, many standing, during the process.

Cr David Needham also nominated for the role but Cr Abbey won the ballot, five votes to four.

Cr Geoff Frost was elected as the Yass Valley’s deputy mayor, edging past Cr Michael McManus by one vote.

After the vote the councillors got stuck into the hard work, with a marathon meeting lasting almost four hours.

Cr Abbey said, being the first meeting, there was a lot to cover but once the councillors get more comfortable with the procedures it would run more smoothly.

Having been on council in the past, she said it was a matter of getting back into the swing of things.

“Some of the new councillors are still on a steep learning curve as well,” she said.

“I think we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

She said she was looking forward to getting on with the job and working with the eight other councillors.

“I think all of us are interested in the completion of the LEP [Local Environment Plan] and getting on with creating some new opportunities for businesses and growth in the Yass Valley.”

She said there would be a focus on lobbying for funding for projects like hospital refurbishments and the Barton Highway.

“There are lots of things on the agenda and we are trying to priorities them and as many other [projects] as possible.”

Deputy mayor Geoff Frost and mayor Rowena Abbey

Deputy mayor Geoff Frost and mayor Rowena Abbey