Former councillor Jenny Bailey rules herself out of forthcoming Council election

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Jenny Bailey will not stand for reelection in September and is calling on her old colleagues follow her lead.

The former Armidale Dumaresq councillor ruled herself out of the race on Friday and said the rest of the ex-councillors needed to do the same.

“Step aside and let new people come in and forge the focus for Armidale in the future,” she said of the old guard.

“There has been a strong call for renewal and for older councillors not to stand.”

Old councillors standing on single issues need to move aside according to Ms Bailey.

“We need people there who are interested in helping Armidale move forward with regional development, with new businesses, and bringing existing business into prosper.

“People who have a vision for Armidale.

“We need people who are going to be collaborative in their approach and who want to make things happen.”

Ms Bailey was also critical of Armidale Regional Council administrator Ian Tiley.

She said overspending in the past 18 months would stifle the new council and was another reason for not standing.

“First of all, there is the new management structure, which has resulted in quite a significant increase in the number of employees Council has,” she said.

“And to commit a new council to $1 million dollars towards the auditorium at the new high school, for which there was absolutely no consultation with the community, into a state government funded project, how can he do that?”

Dr Tiley said $1 million dollars towards the performance centre represented good value for money.

“It’s much better than the $30 to $35 million that the other [civic precinct] project was going to cost,” he said.

“And they new Council can renege on that if they choose.”

But Ms Bailey said the commitment would hamper the new council.

“Rather than having a new council that can go forward with a look of optimism in their step, they’re instead going to have to deal with a huge back-load of money to survive all these debts,” she said.