URGED-ON by the ratepayers and residents, Tamworth councillor Mark Rodda has confirmed he will run for deputy mayor on Tuesday.
The second-term councillor had previously been undecided about a tilt, but he has been spurred on to roll the dice.
“I wasn't going to,” Cr Rodda said.
“But I’ve had plenty of encouragement from members of the public, who reckon I should have a go.”
He doesn’t believe he will have the numbers to become deputy mayor, but he didn’t think it should bar a councillor from running for leadership role.
He conceded regularly voicing his opinions against other tiers of government mightn’t play in his favour, but he said ratepayers appreciated it.
“Not everyone will agree with my point of view on issues, but I’ve always been someone who’s valued free speech and I’ve always been outspoken on things I felt are wrong,” he said.
“I think ratepayers that supported me appreciate that.”
He ruled out challenging for the mayoral chains and didn’t know of any movements from the council to take-on the incumbent, Col Murray.
He said the top job was too time-consuming and not remunerated adequately.
Currently, the Tamworth Regional Council mayor is paid $62,690 a year.
“In rural NSW, the mayoral position is a big job and it’s also a labour of love,” he said.
“I need my full time job and I couldn't cut my hours to do the full time role of mayor.”
It sets up a three-way tussle for the deputy mayor role, with Manilla’s Jim Maxwell candidacy confirmed and Russell Webb also considering a run.
Cr Rodda nominated for deputy mayor in 2016 after receiving the most primary votes in the council election, but he failed to gain the support of any other councillors in his bid.
Cr Webb contested the deputy role in 2016 and 2017, but was bested by outgoing incumbent Helen Tickle on both occasions.