Rush, North expected to remain in top jobs

MAYOR Gary Rush and deputy mayor Ian North are expected to retain their positions in the city’s top jobs when councillors go to election on Wednesday night.

If their bids for re-election are successful, it will mark Cr Rush’s fourth term as mayor and Cr North’s ninth as deputy.

The pair were re-elected unopposed last year, but Cr Rush isn't discounting the possibility of another councillor nominating themselves for his position.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to remain mayor unopposed over the course of the last couple of years, but that’s not how it is always intended to be for me or for anybody else,” he said.

“There ultimately comes a time where there is a person who is better placed to do the job and whether councillors choose to nominate on Wednesday night, that’s up to them, but one thing for sure, regardless of who does and who wins, we have been a very cohesive group and we will remain so.”

Cr North, however, is certain there will be no challenge to Cr Rush’s position or his own.

“No one has come to me and said there is someone that we need to get rid of,” he said.

With a proposed merger between Bathurst and Oberon councils hanging in the air, Cr North believes now is not the time for a change in leadership.

No one has come to me and said there is somebody that we need to get rid of. - Deputy mayor Ian North

“With the way the city’s going, we know we need to have a strong and stable council,” he said.

Cr North said Bathurst Regional Council has come through a period of instability, having had five different mayors since 2006, and he was one of the few councillors to prove his longevity to residents.

He said Cr Rush has proven a good mayor and he intends to continue serving the city he loves alongside him.

“I’m more than comfortable in my position in life to be the back up [to the mayor],” he said.

The election for mayor and deputy mayor will be held at the council chambers from 6pm on Wednesday.

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