THE lone voice of change and procedural fairness on the Derwent Valley Council attended his final council meeting tonight. After several terms as a councillor, Richard Parker decided not to contest this year’s election. He and his wife Christine recently sold their home at Lachlan and have settled into premises in the city.
A former police officer, postal worker and travel agent, Cr Parker spent many years lobbying the council to improve its performance. He has been a frequent voice of dissent at the council table and spent many years as a one-man opposition party, until joined by several like-minded councillors at the last election two years ago.
Tonight’s meeting was the final gathering of the current council, although it did not pass up the opportunity for a final closed session. Before the mayor cleared the public gallery, Cr Judy Bromfield farewelled Cr Parker and wished him well in retirement. “I do wish you well and hope you gain all you wish for in retirement,” Cr Bromfield said.
Mayor Tony Nicholson, Cr Barry Lathey and Cr Jim Elliott all added their best wishes on the occasion and Cr Nicholson remarked that Cr and Mrs Parker had been good neighbours of his own family.
In reply, Cr Parker said retirement was not on his agenda. He said he had nearly completed his masters degree in journalism and was still involved in the travel industry and overseas aid. “I will be working until Christine calls the undertaker to collect me,” Cr Parker said.