THE Gunnedah shire will soon have a new deputy mayor after councillor Gae Swain confirmed she would step down from the role.
Next Wednesday’s mayoral elections will be Cr Swain’s last duty as deputy mayor, after two years in the role.
Cr Swain highlighted family reasons as a motivation behind her decision.
“I can confirm I will not be running for deputy mayor this time around,” Cr Swain said.
“It was a personal decision and given that I have served the Gunnedah shire since 1991 I think the time is right to take a step back.
“Stepping back will also hopefully give me a bit more time with my family, who have been very supportive of me throughout my tenure with the council, and I think it’s time to let someone else have a go.”
The long-time councillor said she was confident the next deputy mayor would “continue the council’s good work”.
“I think it’s good to give others a go,” she said.
“In my opinion the council staff and team we have at the moment is probably the strongest we have had in my time here.
“Whoever takes on my position will have a good team behind them and I am sure they will do a good job.”
Cr Swain said the completion of major infrastructure projects were among the highlights of her last two years in the job.
“I would have to say the upgrade of the Gunnedah Memorial Pool would have to be one of the more satisfying projects the council has undertaken,” she said.
“So many members of our community will use the new facility for a variety of reasons and to me you can’t put a price on that.
“As well as the infrastructure accomplishments, I would have to say another pleasing accomplishment of this council would be the strong financial footing our shire has at the moment.
“That doesn’t come easily and is another reflection of the great work done by our staff.”
Over the next two years, Cr Swain will continue to serve on council.
“I am really looking forward to what challenges lie ahead,” Cr Swain said.
“It will be very interesting to see what the perimeters around our koala park funding from the state government entails.
“Also the $1 million of funding from the federal government for drought support will be interesting.
“We don’t know what either of those will look like yet, but to me, they are two of the more exciting things coming up.”
The mayoral elections will be held during Gunnedah Shire Council’s next meeting on Wednesday, September 19 from 4.30pm.