New candidates step forward.
That is the call from community leaders as nominations for the local government election loom.
Armidale Regional Council’s administrator Ian Tiley is offering free tutelage to any prospective candidates looking to make a bid in the September election and has already met with more than 20 hopefuls.
“Holding elections is a major milestone for Armidale Regional Council and the community,” Dr Tiley said.
“As a councillor for over 20 years, I will be pleased to speak with persons considering standing for Council to discuss the role, required time commitment, or any other relevant matters.”
The offer comes just weeks after ex-councillors advising the administrator were dumped for electioneering on the Council dollar.
“It is in my view inappropriate that committee members should have access to Council information which other candidates would not have,” Dr Tiley said of his decision in early may.
The Armidale Regional Ratepayers Association is also calling for new candidates to come forward.
As is the city’s former mayor Laurie Bishop, who says he will lobby for new representation on Council.
Association chairwoman Maria Hitchcock has already declared her intention to stand.
But is also calling for new candidates to come forward and challenge the old guard.
“The nexus has been broken,” she said.
“There is quite a mood in the community for a clean sweep, people aren't happy with the old Council.
“I really encourage anyone who would like to stand to come forward.
“People vote on name recognition, so if people don’t know your name and you don’t have a community profile, you'll be lost.”
Candidate nominations officially open on Monday, July 31 and close at 12pm on Wednesday, August 9.
To nominate, make sure you are on the electoral roll for Armidale Regional Council area and are eligible to stand for office.
For more information about local council election nominations and registration details visit the NSW Electoral Commission at www.elections.nsw.gov.au or www.votensw.info.