The new Maitland City Council will be led by two women, with central ward Councillor Sally Halliday elected unopposed for the deputy mayor role on Tuesday.
Cr Halliday, who was elected on the Liberal ticket, was nominated for the role by Independent Cr Philip Penfold at the first meeting of the new council.
It’s the new deputy mayor’s first term on council.
Cr Donald Ferris nominated his fellow Labor Councillor Henry Meskauskas for the role, but the long-serving west ward member declined, leaving Cr Halliday as the lone nominee.
Cr Halliday’s new role follows the historic election of Loretta Baker as the city’s first female mayor.
The first meeting of the new council lasted 45 minutes, with the agenda including an affirmation of office by councillors as well as the appointment of council delegates to community organisations and committees.
Earlier, retired mayor Peter Blackmore officially declared Cr Baker as the city’s new mayor to a standing ovation in a packed council chamber.
In a short address, he urged councillors to “not take these arguments outside into the community” after robust discussion during meetings.
The new council consists of four Labor, four Liberal, and four Penfold Team independents, chaired by Labor’s Loretta Baker.
The mix includes six debutant councillors, with seven returning.
Council’s next meeting will take place on October 10.