BALLARAT’S new mayor could come down to a two horse race.
Returning councillor Des Hudson yesterday put up his hand for the top job, while fellow experienced councillors John Philips and Samantha McIntosh both played down their mayoral aspirations.
Cr McIntosh has recently begun a new full-time real estate career which may rule her out of the running.
The Courier also understands Cr Philips will have considerable support if he chooses to stand.
It is unlikely any of the six new councillors would take on the role in their first year in local government.
Former mayor Mark Harris, who said he would be prepared to do the role for a second year if re-elected, was not returned at the weekend’s local government elections.
Cr Hudson said yesterday he had the experience to be the next mayor.
“I’m able to offer 11 years of experience, and the first 12 months of a new council is really important to build the council plan,” Cr Hudson said.
“I’m happy to say I’ll nominate but that will be a conversation with the eight other councillors.”
Cr McIntosh said the decision would be made by the nine-member council.
“I really do believe we need to meet as a team and get focused on the big picture decisions,” Cr McIntosh said.
“The next mayor will be an important discussion but it depends who has the time available and the skills to be a great leader.”
Cr McIntosh said the incoming civic leader didn’t necessarily have to be an experienced councillor.
“I don’t think it’s about the experience of each councillor.
“Each individual has been elected for their experience and knowledge.
“Whoever we choose as the leader of the new team will be a strong voice leading our new council.”
Cr Philips, who was defeated by former councillor Ben Taylor for the 2012 deputy mayor position, said he hadn’t made any decisions about standing.
“That’s into the future. It’s not appropriate to raise it now,” Cr Philips said.
“I’ve got a lot of experience and I’m just looking forward to working with the next council.”
Nominations for the position of mayor will close on Thursday, November 8.
The statutory meeting to swear in the mayor and the councillors will be Tuesday, November 13.
The council’s first ordinary meeting will take place the following night.