Cr Sharon Tapscott has resigned from her position as councillor for the Bega Valley Shire.
The Merimbula-based councillor and former mayor formally wrapped up her eight-year term as councillor on Monday, September 28.
General manager, Leanne Barnes said Cr Tapscott had worked tirelessly as a community advocate throughout her time at council.
"Cr Tapscott came to the attention of the local community through her strong campaign to maintain hospital services in Pambula.
"It came as no surprise that she received strong community support when she decided to run for a place as councillor in 2012.
"Since that time, Cr Tapscott has broadened her advocacy approach, holding key positions in a range of local groups, including co-chair of the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.
"Sharon's energy and passion will be missed, and everyone here at council wishes her well."
Cr Tapscott said it had been a difficult decision to leave before next year's council elections.
"Serving as councillor and mayor for this wonderful shire has been an honour, but family circumstances have led to my care and attention being required elsewhere," Cr Tapscott said.
She said she had been mayor at an extra-ordinary time and said the bushfires and the pandemic had brought out the best in the community.
"I got to meet some real doers, people who are so generous of spirit and I learnt how resilient people can be," Cr Tapscott said.
"Having been a community advocate in this official role for the past eight years, I have witnessed the very best of people, from tireless volunteers to those who decide to step-up when the community needed help during traumatic times.
"Witnessing some of the toughest moments this shire has had to endure was heartbreaking, but working with so many incredible people on the path to recovery has been inspiring.
"I leave this council knowing there is a great team in place, both with the community's elected representatives and the staff who work hard to deliver the best possible outcomes."
She said that her highlights were working with the staff and seeing the outcomes from working in adversity.
"We have become the benchmark for how a council reacts to a crisis and both Leanne and Kristy have been asked to speak on their experiences."
Cr Tapscott said it had been an extra-ordinary term with three floods, three fires, drought, COVID, cross border issues and the by-election, which she said was very destabilising.
"The way staff and the community came together was serendipitous and very organic. Everyone just got on and did it. The worst of times highlighted the best in the community. I can't tell you how proud I am of the staff and the community," Cr Tapscott said.
Currently in the election cycle there is no requirement for council to hold a by-election to fill the vacancy. Council will continue with eight councillors.
Councillor Tapscott's position will be filled following the 2021 local government elections.
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