Armidale Mayor Ian Tiley has revealed he will not be a candidate for Armidale Regional Council in the September elections.
"I've given the last five and half years of my life to Armidale, and I've got no regrets about that, but there comes a time when its time to go back home," Cr Tiley told The Armidale Express on Thursday.
"My home is in the Maclean - I've lived there for the last 40 years, and I've been up here for the last five, and I feel it's the time to go."
Cr Tiley said he was still undecided if he will run for council in his home shire.
"There is a strong push for me to run for Clarence Valley Council because there is a dire need for reform in that council - that's what I'm hearing - but I'm undecided."
Armidale Regional Council is 'on the cusp' and requires a 'strong and competent governing body', Cr Tiley believes.
"We've got a good budget going forward, and we've got a lot of things happening with a lot of grants to spend, so it's an exciting time," he said.
"There aren't a significant number of candidates yet registered, and it is so important for the future of Armidale Regional Council that we have good candidates forming a governing body that will take the region forward.
"I strongly encourage people to consider standing because it is the best form of community service that I know."
When the Express spoke with current Armidale Regional Council members earlier this year, only Cr Andrew Murat confirmed he would not run again, because of his health.
At that stage, Cr Peter Bailey said he would be running again, focusing on driving growth and prosperity.
That has not changed, he said this week and the rail trail, Airside Business Park and revitalising the mall were all still projects he wants to champion.
"I'm going to work to do two other things as well," he said.
"Re-establish a council finance committee for all councillors to improve our financial management understanding and request Acacia Industry Park becomes a manufacturing cluster and apply for funding for better access. It already employs 1000 people, and there is more expansion going on."
In March, the possibility of the same council team being elected was causing Cr Jon Galletly to reconsider running again.
However, this week he confirmed he would stand, and he said new faces registering to nominate was part of that decision.
Cr Dorothy Robinson said there would be at least six new faces elected to the council, and having a mix of new and experienced councillors was essential - but she was still undecided if she would try to be part of that mix.
"The Armidale region will need experienced councillors, who will continue to advocate for improvements in sustainability and also the welfare of our community, to make our region a better and healthier place to live," Cr Robinson said.
"Enormous challenges lie ahead. We need to find ways to implement and obtain funds to implement and update the excellent plans developed over the past four years, including addressing the climate emergency that was declared unanimously in October 2019.
"We need to listen to, and work for, the community, to improve efficiency and also ensure that council become more transparent and accountable.
"Stay tuned to find out whether I'm up for the challenge."
The Express understands that both Debra O'Brien and Margaret O'Connor intend to nominate, but they have not confirmed this.
As of July 15, six new candidates had registered to nominate for election to Armidale Regional Council: Kathy Clare, Steven Mepham, Rob Richardson, Levi Sampson, Margaret Sims and Brad Widders.
Mr Richardson has previously served on Armidale Dumaresq Council before the amalgamation in 2016, and Mr Widders was a councillor after the amalgamation.
The nomination period opens Monday, July 26 and closes strictly at noon Wednesday, 4 August 2021.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: