FORMER mayor Mark Harris would accept the role of Ballarat’s new Central Ward councillor if called up.
The Ballarat doctor, the leading candidate for the seat based on first preferences, told The Courier on Tuesday he had considered the vacancy and would agree to fill it, should the votes fall his way.
But Dr Harris said he still believed Glen Crompton would win the countback on the distribution of preferences.
“I’d absolutely take that on,” Dr Harris said.
“It is really just for the two years in terms of a commitment ... it is doable. I value the chance to make a contribution.” The countback to fill the vacancy in Ballarat’s Central Ward will take place at the Ballarat Town Hall at 11.30am on Monday, June 30.
John Burt’s votes will be redistributed to unsuccessful candidates according to voters’ preferences.
Dr Harris said Mr Crompton was “far more likely” to receive Mr Burt’s preferences, but it came down to whether the other candidate wanted the job.
Mr Crompton said he was aware of the countback but did not want to comment.
If Dr Harris does secure the seat, he expects to be vocal on rates.
“The bottom line is, in the (former) council I was on, we only had rate rises of 3 or 4 per cent,” Dr Harris said.
“I’d find it hard to work on a council that had 6 or 7 per cent rises.”
Mr Burt quit the council and triggered the countback after it was revealed he told four councillors a Liberal Party-aligned mayor would be to Ballarat’s advantage at state level.