TWO Armidale Dumaresq councillors who intend to contest the September local government election have ruled out a tilt at mayor if they are re-elected, while a third intends to run if he has the numbers.
Mayor Peter Ducat announced on Friday that he will not contest the coming election, ending a seven-year stint at the helm.
Four councillors - Rob Richardson, Herman Beyersdorf, Colin Gadd and deputy mayor Jim Maher - have announced their intention to recontest their seats at the next election.
Cr Beyersdorf said he would consider running for the mayor, though his decision would be dependent on the make-up of the new council.
“If I felt I could get the support of the majority of councillors I can certainly see myself putting my hand up, but if it’s looking unlikely I probably won’t,” he said. “I’ve had more than 20 years experience in local government, and if I’m successful in gaining the position I think I would do a good job, considering my experience in this area.”
Cr Richardson said he would consider running for deputy mayor, but felt that he did not have enough experience in local government to run for the top job.
“I feel I need more experience; it’s something to consider in the future,” he said.
“There are a couple of people who also renominated that have more experience and who might be able to bring more quality to the role of mayor.”
Cr Gadd said it would be difficult to balance his work as a teacher with the extra work required as mayor.
“Being mayor requires a lot of energy and a lot of time,” he said.
“I’m still working and I don’t know whether I’d be able to devote enough time to being mayor, since it is essentially picking up a full-time job on top of what you’re already doing.”
Cr Maher will take on the role of acting mayor in August when Cr Ducat goes away for a month.
“Our deputy mayor, Jim Maher who I work very well with and who has the community at heart, will be taking more of the load up over the next three months,” Cr Ducat said.
When asked whether he had any preferred successors in mind, Cr Ducat advised local business people to consider running for Council in the coming election.
“My hope is that good people come in and some good business people come in, because we need a great mix of people and I think we’ve got those
people in Armidale,” he said.