THE CONTEST for deputy mayor is on.
Tamworth Regional Council councillor Jim Maxwell will stand for second-in-charge next Tuesday.
And, deputy-mayor Helen Tickle has confirmed she will not contest again.
“I’m retired, I’ve got the time and the passion so I thought I’d chuck my hat in the ring and see how I go,” Cr Maxwell said.
“I’ve had a fair grounding in local government over the years and my passion has never waned.”
Elected in 2016, Cr Maxwell has served two years on Tamworth council and sat on Manilla Shire Council for 17 years.
He was the mayor of Manilla for more than five, a role he thinks will help him better represent Tamworth’s outlying towns.
“I am prepared to work in the the team, I think that’s very important - but it doesn’t mean I don’t have my say when it’s necessary,” Cr Maxwell said.
“It’s handy to have someone from out of the city area.
“I think Helen [Tickle] has done a terrific job representing her constituents and council in a dignified way, there’s no animosity.
“I don’t think Helen is standing this time, if she was I most probably wouldn’t be - but I’m quietly confident.”
Both the mayor and the deputy mayor’s jobs will be up for grabs at next Tuesday’s council meeting.
Councillor Russell Webb said he is seriously considering putting his hand up.
“If I do put my hand up I think I’m in a good position to lobby through our local members and try and get some good outcomes for our region,” he said.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if [Cr] Juanita [Wilson] does too.”
Council votes for mayor every two years and deputy mayor once every 12 months.
Deputy mayor Helen Tickle said she looks forward to handing on the baton, and Cr Maxwell will have her support.
“It’s been an honour to serve as deputy mayor and I thank the community for their support over the last two years,” she said.
“I knew there were others interested so I’m more than happy for someone else to have that opportunity.
“I will be nominating Cr Jim Maxwell, he’s a strong advocate for small communities and I feel he would make an excellent deputy mayor.”
Cr Tickle is the first female deputy mayor of Tamworth Regional Council.
Councillors Glenn Inglis and Phil Betts said they had not given the role consideration.
The Leader contacted the other councillors who were either undecided or unavailable for comment.