TEACHER and first-time councillor Joshua Morris has emerged as a contender for the job of Ballarat’s next mayor.
Cr Morris said he was considering nominating for the position, but only if his colleagues supported the move.
“The decision about who’s going to be the next mayor is a group decision, and certainly over the next couple of weeks we’ll have a look at that,” he said.
“We’ve got a great mayor at the moment and he may wish to continue on.”
Nominations open next month, with the mayor to be installed at Ballarat City Council’s annual statutory meeting.
Current mayor John Burt has not yet said if he will run for a second term.
But veteran Ballarat councillor Des Hudson recently flagged his interest, telling The Courier he intended to “look at his options” if the support was there.
Cr Morris, a PE teacher and father, said there were several factors to be taken into account, such as the time commitment and taking leave from his current teaching position.
“It’s important to get all the ducks in a row,” he said.
“I think every councillor would be interested if the timing’s right and the support was there. It’s a big responsibility to take on.”
Cr Morris said apart from Cr Hudson he was not aware if anyone else wanted the job.
When Cr Morris was elected to the South Ward in last year’s local government elections the 30-year-old said he hoped to bring an air of decisiveness to a council that had not made enough important decisions.
Cr Hudson nominated for mayor last year, but was defeated by Cr Burt, a first-time councillor.
Cr Hudson is the council’s most experienced councillor, having already served four terms. Other possible contenders for mayor include deputy mayor Samantha McIntosh and John Philips, both of whom served on the previous council.
Ballarat’s 2014 mayor should be known within the next few weeks but a decision is unlikely until after November 4, when Cr Burt and Cr Philips return from a council delegation to China and Japan.