GRAEME Hanger is Bathurst’s new mayor after being elected unopposed at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday night.
It caps a remarkable rise for Cr Hanger who was elected to council in 2008 and was hardly heard from in the first eight years.
That changed in December last year when he was elected deputy mayor following the sudden resignation of Ian North and Cr Hanger has filled in as acting mayor since Gary Rush resigned on Monday following a drink-driving charge.
Cr Hanger is also the current Bathurst citizen of the year.
Michael Coote will serve as deputy after defeating Monica Morse in a two-way ballot.
Cr Coote was elected with the support of councillors Hanger, Warren Aubin, Bobby Bourke and Greg Westman while Cr Ian North supported Cr Morse’s bid.
Cr North did not contest the mayoral ballot after saying he would earlier in the week.
Cr Hanger’s first term in the city’s top job could be a brief stint with Bathurst voters likely to go to the polls in September to elect a new council.
Local government elections scheduled for last September were deferred as the state government pushed ahead with its plans to merge the Bathurst and Oberon councils but that plan has now been quashed.
It is widely expected that the Bathurst council election will be held on Saturday, September 9 in line with other local government elections but that has not been confirmed by the State Electoral Commission.