Darcy Byrne has been elected mayor of the Inner West Council at a short meeting on Wednesday night, the council's new Labor majority safely returning Cr Byrne to the position from which he was ousted three months before the December 4 local government election.
The eight Labor councillors, six of them new faces on the 15-member council, also elected as the new deputy mayor Jessica D'Arienzo - a first-term councillor who was No. 2 on the Labor ticket in Ashfield-Djarrawunang ward.
Kobi Shetty, newly elected Greens councillor for Balmain-Baludarri, challenged Cr Byrne for the mayoralty and received the support of her four Greens colleagues and independents Pauline Lockie and John Stamolis.
Cr Lockie, who was returned by voters in the Stanmore-Damun ward, unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for deputy mayor, the vote also split 8-7 between her and Cr D'Arienzo.
The 15 councillors - 10 of them new faces - were sworn in before the meeting, which they attended in person at the Ashfield Service Centre. At about 15 minutes long, the meeting was kept as short as possible in order to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Cr Byrne was first elected to Leichhardt Council in 2008 and was the last Leichhardt mayor before amalgamation, and the inaugural Inner West Council mayor. He served as mayor until September this year when he was defeated by former Greens councillor Rochelle Porteous who served for only three months.
Cr D'Arienzo has lived in Dulwich Hill for the past 11 years and works as an industrial officer at the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association and as a staffer for NSW upper house Labor member Anthony D'Adam.
Cr Byrne will serve as mayor until September 2023. His term will be slightly shorter than the regular two years due to the delay of the elections this year.
Cr D'Arienzo will serve until September 2022.
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