Mayoral vote: Civic leaders up for re-election

TAMWORTH’S two civic leaders appear set to be re-elected unopposed when their council colleagues convene for a vote next week.

Mayor Col Murray and his deputy, Russell Webb, have confirmed they will stand again for the positions they have held since 2011.

Thirteen councils across the New England and the North West will this month appoint their mayors and deputy mayors for the next year.

The Leader canvassed six of the region’s seven other councillors yesterday – Phil Betts was unavailable – and no one indicated their intention to challenge for either post at this stage.

However Cr Murray, who topped the polls at the 2012 election, said he would not be taking Tuesday night’s annual mayoral vote lightly.

“I never take it for granted and I never expect it to be uncontested, but I haven’t heard any murmurs or 

rumblings – but you never, ever know,” he said.

“I enjoy the role and while it’s enormously challenging, it can be very satisfying and awfully rewarding when you’re able to do some of the little things for people that really matter.”

The 62-year-old also indicated that at this stage it was his intention to commit for another four-year term on council by standing at the 2016 election.

“I’m enjoying what I’m doing and I hope I’m doing a good job and I suppose in two years’ time I’ll be 

certainly making a decision, but at this stage it’s probably most likely that I’ll go again.”

Cr Webb, 60, said he was content to nominate for the position of deputy mayor again and had no intention of challenging Cr Murray for the mayoral chains.

“Col’s there and he’s doing a good job,” he said. “He’s very good to work with and we work as a team and I have to be honest and say it probably works quite well.

“If you look at us across the state, Tamworth Regional Council – for all the criticism we do get – is recognised by some of the state leaders as probably one of the most progressive councils.”

Cr Mark Rodda, who is serving his first term on council, said the fact Cr Murray and Cr Webb finished first and second in the 2012 poll was a clear indication of their support in the community.

“Although we are one of those councils that elect and re-elect our mayor and deputy mayor each year, I still think they enjoy the confidence of the people of Tamworth,” he said.

Councillors will vote on the positions of mayor and deputy mayor at the ordinary council meeting on Tuesday.

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