Kyogle Mayor Ernie Bennett
Kyogle Mayor Ernie Bennett

Mayors ponder whether to run for office

SOME local mayors have some tough questions to answer before the September election - from their partners.

Lismore mayor Merv King has openly stated he will not stand again in the coming elections, and now other local mayors have hinted they might be wanting out too.

Kyogle mayor Ernie Bennett said it was 'very possible' he wouldn't run for mayor again, but he wasn't prepared to completely shut the door on the idea.

"I think it's possibly time to spend a bit more time with my family," Cr Bennett said.

"I have 12 grandchildren now and my daughter is pregnant with another, so I have a lot of people to visit.

"My wife is a bit like most people's partners - she'd be happy not to have the phone ringing in her ear 24/7."

Cr Bennett's other passion, his brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle, is also weighing heavily into the decision.

"I've got a brand new Harley that I don't have time to ride," he said.

"I've always thought you shouldn't stay too long, whether you can or can't, and if I did run again it would definitely be only for one more term. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at council."

Richmond Valley mayor Charlie Cox said he too hadn't made up his mind.

"It's a pretty big job and I take my job seriously, but I haven't made up my mind yet," Cr Cox said.

"I haven't made a firm decision either way and there's a lot to be considered. I don't go into these things without proper consideration."

Ballina mayor Phillip Silver said being mayor had in many ways become his whole life activity and he wasn't sure whether he was ready to give it up just yet.

"It's been the most enjoyable six years as mayor and theres the inclination I will be a candidate. But I need to talk it through with the family before I make an absolute commitment," Cr Silver said.

"To see the riverfront refurbishment through to its ultimate conclusion would be fulfilling, as would being in office when the Alstonville and Ballina bypasses are completed."

Byron mayor Jan Barham said she was definitely running again as there were a lot of projects she wanted to see come to fruition.

"There's still a lot of projects I'd like to see through, like the shire library, sport fields, the Local Environment Plan and the Coast Line Management Plan," Cr Barham said.

"Being mayor is a huge job and I suppose it took a lot of thought for me to decide to run again.

"But I did the list and there were more positives than negatives. The overriding factor was we have such a fantastic community, which is innovative and leading the way on a lot of green issues."


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