PREPARE for musical chairs as councillors vote on a new mayor and deputy.
Tamworth Regional Council’s first female deputy mayor, Helen Tickle, has confirmed she will step down.
Mayor Col Murray said he was disappointed to hear the news – he’ll be nominating for mayor again.
“I don’t want to be mayor for the sake of being mayor. I enjoy the role and I’m hopeful I can add value, and I’m prepared to do the hard work,” he said.
“Helen [Tickle] has been an excellent deputy: she’s responsible, diligent, hardworking and a good communicator.
“I’m a little disappointed she’s choosing to step down.”
So far, councillors Charles Impey, Glenn Inglis and Phil Betts have ruled themselves out for second-in-charge.
High responsibility and poor remuneration is an issue a number of councillors mentioned in taking on the more time-consuming roles.
Cr Mark Rodda is sitting firmly on the fence.
“Initially I was going to decline, but members of the public have told me they think I should put my hand up for deputy mayor,” he said.
“I think it would be positive to show I’m ready to step up into those leadership positions.
“But the remuneration and time commitment needed make it difficult for those who work full-time to do both.”
Councillors will vote for their mayor and deputy mayor on Tuesday.
Cr Jim Maxwell has confirmed he will stand for deputy, and Cr Russell Webb is considering it.
“If I do put my hand up, I think I’m in a good position to lobby through our local members and try to get some good outcomes for our region,” he said.
“It is always a good thing to have some competition, because it keeps people vying for the position on their toes and makes sure whoever wins will put their best foot forward and deliver for the community.”
Despite speculation she will run, Cr Juanita Wilson said it was unlikely she will vie for one of the top positions.
“I’m not putting my hand up at this stage, but I’ll wait to see if anything changes,” she said.
Cr Murray said whoever got the role of deputy mayor needed to be aware of how high the community’s expectations were.
“There’s so much more councillors are expected to be involved in, far more than consideration for remuneration has changed,” he said.