NEW MAYOR: Vic Pennisi wins Southern Downs top job
"IT'S finally happened."
The Southern Downs has elected a new mayor, Stanthorpe man Vic Pennisi.
The Queensland Electoral Commission made the declaration this evening after Mr Pennisi secured 44.28 per cent of the official first preference count.
Former mayor Tracy Dobie came in behind Mr Pennisi with 36.42 per cent, followed by Peter Kemp (14.37 per cent) and Joe Doepel (4.93 per cent).
Mr Pennisi sat on council for 16 years before contesting the top job, stating it was "time to move up, or move out."
He campaigned on a platform of honesty, transparency and greater communication, promising if elected he would govern "from the bottom down."
"If it's important to you, it's important to me."
The message resonated with a drought-stricken community long-disillusioned with its council, who overwhelmingly called for change this election.