Hume mayoralty: Boycott mars the moment for youngest mayor

UPDATE: Aitken ward councillor Casey Nunn has been elected Hume’s youngest mayor at the age of 30.

Meadow Heights ward councillor Adem Atmaca is her deputy.

In a break from convention, the decision went to a vote last Thursday night.

Flanked by family and supporters and before a gallery of about 200 people, including state and federal MPs, business and community representatives, Cr Nunn took over from outgoing mayor Geoff Porter.

But her big night was marred by the antics of two of the council’s three Sunbury representatives, Jack Ogilvie and Jack Medcraft, who boycotted the official team photograph after losing their bid to get the top job for one of them.

Dealing with official complaints over tactics used by the Sunbury stalwarts in the lead-up to the mayoral vote may well be one of Cr Nunn’s first jobs as mayor.

The Weeklyunderstands Cr Porter and chief executive Domenic Isola cautioned Cr Medcraft after his email campaign to get support from Sunbury colleague Cr Ann Potter was leaked to local media in the lead-up to the mayoral vote.

A series of emails from Cr Medcraft to Cr Potter, and others by defeated Palmer Party candidate Trevor Dance, reveal pressure was applied to form a Sunbury cabal to ensure Cr Nunn did not get the top job, even though she had been acting as deputy mayor for the past year.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, Cr Ogilvie signalled his intention to stand as mayor, and the emails seen by the Weekly reveal an ongoing barrage of pressure on Cr Potter to cast her lot along home-town lines.

“I have just asked plainly and simply, will you support your fellow Sunbury cr [councillor] or not and, if not, how can you justify supporting the most inexperienced cr who has only been on council for one year and is planning on having a child during the year or years ahead? Really . . .” Cr Medcraft wrote.

The email onslaught included several from Mr Dance, one sent to all councillors and Hume executives by the well-known Sunbury-out-of-Hume supporter.

“Gee, I hope Sunbury out of Hume is successful so a new council can be set up that is for the people and not councillor egos of self-importance or overpaid executives who cannot show true leadership,” Mr Dance wrote.

Then, in a last-minute switch on Thursday night, Cr Ogilvie nominated Cr Medcraft.

The vote did not go their way and Cr Medcraft went on to use his congratulatory message to the incoming mayor to complain he was not part of Hume’s “inner sanctum”, to apologise if the “dramas and games” had “got out of hand” and blamed it all on “being fed crap all the time”.

Cr Nunn was forced to ask Cr Medcraft to stick to the point and wind up his diatribe.

“It takes a village to raise a child and this village raised me,” Cr Nunn said, going on to describe her personal journey through Hume’s maternal and child health services, kindergartens, its youth festival and a lifetime of volunteering for emergency service organisations.

“I pledge to give it all I’ve got,” she said.

As soon as the speeches were over, councillors Ogilvie and Medcraft left.


Meanwhile, Whittlesea council will elect its new mayor at a special meeting on Wednesday.