Rule change means no emeritus mayor title for Mathew Dickerson

Mathew Dickerson.

Mathew Dickerson.

Former Dubbo Council mayor Mathew Dickerson will not be conferred the title of Emeritus Mayor due to rule changes that occurred last August.

The award is intended to provide ongoing recognition to those who have served as a mayor. Academic institutions recognise their retiring valued members with the title of Emeritus Professor, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) recognises senior members as Emeritus Mayors. 

The title of Emeritus Mayor can only be conferred on a former councillor who has served six years as a mayor. Mr Dickerson served just under five.

Mayor Ben Shields said the suggestion was genuine and made in good faith.

“In August last year I suggested that Mathew Dickerson should be given the title of Emeritus Mayor for his service to Dubbo as mayor between September 2011 and May 2016,” he said.

“At the time, the requirement was that a person that served as the mayor of a council for three years was eligible. 

“Unfortunately, not long after I suggested the title in August last year, Local Government NSW changed the requirements to a total of six years.

“Mathew served a total of four years and eight months as mayor, and unfortunately that makes him ineligible under the amended guidelines.”

Mr Dickerson said the title was never something he was chasing and he had no problem with the rule change.

“I don't need a title to be proud of the time that I was mayor of the city,” he said.

“When I was mayor the city did well; we took a council that was not well regarded in the community to a council that had a high approval rating. That allowed us to achieve a lot of things.”