Former chief returns to chamber

BRIEF RETURN: Former Wattle Range Council chief executive Peter Harriott was a surprise speaker at Tuesday’s council meeting at Millicent. Picture: J.L. “FRED” SMITH

FORMER Wattle Range Council chief executive Peter Harriott made a brief and surprise return to the Millicent meeting chamber last week.

Unbeknown to others, Mr Harriott decided to coincide his overnight visit with the final scheduled meeting for the 2017/18 council.

Mr Harriott was at the helm of Wattle Range Council from 2013-16 and has since been the chief executive of the Greater Shepparton City Council, overseeing 800 staff and an annual budget of $140m.

He rose to his feet in the public gallery at the end of Mayor Peter Gandolfi’s monthly address and addressed council.

In a departure from usual meeting procedures, his remarks were recorded in the minutes.

He thanked Mr Gandolfi and Mayoress Kathy for helping him and his wife to feel part of the community when he was chief executive.

Mr Harriott highlighted the mayor’s dynamic leadership, the cohesion of Wattle Range Council and the accomplishments which have resulted, such as the Penola bypass.

Councillor John Drew said he spoke on behalf of all elected members in thanking the mayor and retiring deputy mayor Rob Dycer for their contribution, outstanding leadership, commitment to council and the community and conscientious way in which they conducted business.

Cr Dale Price thanked his fellow elected members for their support and commitment in their roles and for the achievements they had made during their term of office.

The meeting lasted an hour and Cr Dycer made an informal farewell speech after formalities had drawn to a close.

Councillors and senior staff then went out to dinner.

It was the final scheduled meeting for Cr Dycer and Mr Gandolfi, while as many as nine of the serving councillors may return to office for 2018-2022.