"Disappointing" is how Councillor Kathryn Bell describes the defeat of her notice of motion at the August 14 MidCoast Council meeting.
Cr Bell's motion sought to allow voters to decide how their mayor is elected.
The Local Government Act 1993 provides two methods by which a mayor can be elected - by popular vote at an ordinary election or by vote among the councillors.
Cr Bell argued the majority of the community was "ticked off" by the forced amalgamation of the Great Lakes, Greater Taree City and Gloucester councils in 2016.
"And, then it was arbitrarily forced on us 'This is how you can select your mayor'."
Prior to the merger in 2016, Greater Taree City Council had a popularly elected mayor while both Great Lakes and Gloucester councillors determined who was mayor.
"Section 228 of the Act permits a council to change the way the mayor is elected by seeking approval of its electors at a constitutional referendum," Cr Bell's notice of motion stated.
"Council would need to resolve to hold a constitutional referendum. If electors at a constitutional referendum conducted in conjunction with the 2020 ordinary council elections approve a change to the way the mayor is elected, that change will come into effect for the electoral term commencing in September 2024."
The motion was lost seven votes to three.
Cr Bell was supported by Cr Peter Epov and Cr Brad Christensen.
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