I wish to advise the residents of Parkes Shire, my fellow Councillors and Council staff of my desire to see a succession plan to a smooth transition to a new leadership team.
I thought it was appropriate to give advance notice of my intention to step down as Mayor so that my fellow Councillors have time to properly consider a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor they believe will be best placed to lead our team into the next election and beyond. I express my gratitude to all the dedicated Councillors I have served with over the years and the extremely talented staff that have helped guide our Shire.
In September of this year, it will be my privilege and honour to complete my 40th consecutive year serving the Parkes Shire Council and thus the Parkes Shire communities. I commenced my 17th year as Mayor in July, after serving my mentor and friend, the late Robert Wilson OAM, for 17 years as his Deputy Mayor.
I would like to acknowledge the outstanding leadership and advice of the two General Managers, the late Alan McCormack PSM and Kent Boyd PSM with whom I have worked closely during my term at the helm. As Sir Isaac Newton is credited to have said “I am standing on the shoulders of giants”. I believe as the current Councillors of Parkes Shire we are doing just that, as our predecessors have shown vision and foresight.
Parkes Shire Council is now highly regarded in Local Government circles around the State and has a very exciting future.
In making this decision I acknowledge the wonderful support of my devoted wife, Sue, who was only engaged to a prospective Councillor way back in 1983. Our three sons, James, Max and Douglas, have accepted sharing their father’s time with his passion for Parkes Shire, for which I am most grateful. It is now time to repay their unwavering support. More time for visiting our beautiful grandchildren and having some holidays and travel without worrying about clashing with a Council meeting!
I have also appreciated the support of my brother Tim and the many people who have assisted me in my farming operations over the years, this has allowed me to devote the time needed for this role.
In closing, I have had the pleasure to meet so many kind and compassionate residents, who care deeply about the various communities which comprise the Shire we all call home. I thank you sincerely for your mostly voluntary contributions which I believe is the glue which holds us all together.
By Cr Ken Keith OAM