Ararat Rural City Council's most recent mayor Jo Armstrong has earned the most votes of the 11 candidates at the 2020 Local Government Election.
The Victorian Electoral Commission has published the election results on its website.
Ms Armstrong was re-elected with 38.49 per cent of all first preference votes, nearly three and a half times more than the next highest-polling candidate William Waterson.
"I am overwhelmed with the support that has been given to me," Ms Armstrong said.
"I think we have got capacity to get some great work done, and I really look forward to being able to set the council plan for 2021 - 2024. We have got lots of work to do and we will roll our sleeves up and get straight into it.
"We have some important strategies to address such as our waste management and also looking at what we can do with housing opportunities across the municipality."
Also elected to council for the next four years are:
- Peter Beales (re-elected), 4.41 per cent of first preferences
- Bob Sanders, 10.16 per cent
- Henry Burridge, 7.46 per cent
- Gwenda Allgood (re-elected), 7.48 per cent
- Rob Armstrong, 4.1 per cent
"We have some new and some familiar faces on our new Council. I look forward to working with all of our new Councillors to make our municipality a great place to live", said Ararat Rural City chief executive Dr Tim Harrison.
"This is not an easy job and is very different to what many people imagine. Over the next four years the Councillors will help set the strategic direction of the Council. The community will see this reflected through Council's Annual Budget and the four-year Council Plan."
"Congratulations to all candidates, it takes a lot of courage to nominate. It also reflects positively on our community to have 12 people nominate for these challenging positions."
Councillors will be taking their oaths of office next Monday and the Statutory Meeting of Council will take place on Thursday. In this meeting the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be elected and roles on committees will be filled.
Seven thousand one hundred ninety-six people voted at the election, with a further 308 people - or four per cent of the total - voting informally.
As of Wednesday morning, 7504 votes had been counted, or just under 84 per cent of all people enrolled to vote in the municipality. This is up from a turnout of 78.97 per cent four years ago.
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