A FOURTH northern mayor has announced he will not contest the September local government elections.
Tenterfield civic leader Toby Smith yesterday added his name to that of Gunnedah, Armidale Dumaresq and Glen Innes councils that will be looking to vote new mayors at their polls.
Cr Smith said yesterday he’d decided not to stand again, after serving seven years as the mayor and bringing up 13 years in local government with Tenterfield shire. “My original intention was that, if re-elected, I would serve three terms in council,” Cr Smith said.
“After 13 years on council and seven years as mayor, I feel my job is done.”
Cr Smith joins Peter Ducat from Armidale, Adam Marshall at Gunnedah and Glen Innes mayor Steve Toms in declaring their moves to move on from mayoral duties.
Mr Toms yesterday confirmed what he’d already hinted at in the past couple of weeks, when he told media he mainly wanted to focus on his Cross Border Commissioner’s role.
Cr Toms has been the mayor of Glen Innes Severn Council since 2005, a year after the shire and former municipal councils amalgamated.
At Tenterfield, Cr Smith says he’s proud of the part he’s played in shire achievements and that he’s honoured to have been the mayor. He thanked the local community for its support.
Although he didn’t publicly comment on his councillor colleagues, it is known Cr Smith has been deeply unhappy about the division that has been shown there and about some of the statements made by councillors about staff and council business.
There have been rowdy meetings and some extraordinary statements, including a call from one councillor suggesting the council would be better off with an administrator.
At this stage, the four are believed to be the only incumbent mayors not standing, although a couple of long-serving councillors have indicated they won’t stand again.
At Gunnedah, it is likely that up to five councillors will retire and the poll will see a quorum of new faces.
At Inverell, John Irvine, who has served for more than 27 years in two terms – the latest from 1991 to the present – also indicated he was retiring.