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Mayoral race in the dark

Dubbo has one candidate for mayor and one for deputy mayor, but most councillors are keeping their cards close to their chest.
Nanjing Night Net

Incumbent Mathew Dickerson will seek to return to the top job on Thursday while re-elected councillor Lyn Griffiths has announced she will stand for deputy mayor.

Those positions and committee leaders will be subject to a vote at an extraordinary meeting of the new Dubbo City Council on Thursday.

The civic leaders – four new to the role and seven returning – have big decisions before them.

Cr Ben Shields gained the most votes and was the first candidate declared, but he declined to comment on the mayoral race yesterday.

Cr Dickerson gained the second-most votes followed by newcomer John Walkom.

Cr Dickerson said he thought he had worked hard to be a positive representative for Dubbo as mayor and the other leadership positions needed to be filled – for at least the first year of the term – by people with some experience.

When asked if it made sense to have Cr Shields in one of the two top roles, Cr Dickerson said he was not sure of his colleague’s intentions.

“At this stage Ben hasn’t contacted me and asked for my vote so I am not even certain if he will be standing for the position,” Cr Dickerson said.

“If he contacts me and informs me that he is standing and wants my vote I will certainly listen to his reasons why he would make a good deputy mayor.”

Deputy mayor-hopeful Cr Griffiths said Cr Shields’ good poll result was a moot point because Dubbo did not have a popularly-elected mayor.

“The factors that I consider important are the ability of the nominated person to work hard for Dubbo and to work with other councillors in a positive and productive manner,” she said.

Cr Rod Towney ruled out any run for a position and gave his support to Cr Dickerson and Cr Griffiths.

“Mathew Dickerson has done a good job, going out on a limb to try to bring councillors together,” he said.

“For all the females around town it would be good to have a woman as deputy mayor, and Lyn has the runs on the board.”

Bill Kelly ruled out nominating for a position and although he would not declare his support for anyone, he said he knew which way he would vote and why.

“I’m not prepared to discuss this now, you’ll see on Thursday,” he said.

“I have my mind made up and the reasons and then I’ll be doing my best to unify the council.”

He said the actions during the next 12 months of those he voted for would decide whether his support was ongoing.

Mr Walkom was also coy about commenting on the race.

“To ensure a cohesive united council for which I have been a great advocator during my campaign for election to council, I think it prudent that the process of the election of the various positions on council be left to the democratic process of the meeting this coming Thursday,” he said.

Cr Tina Reynolds also said the discussion about the leadership positions should be amongst the 11 councillors, not played out in the media.

The Daily Liberal had not received any other responses to its request for comment from all councillors-elect at the time of going to press.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.