IAN North has confirmed he will contest the mayoral vote at the new Bathurst Regional Council's first meeting next week.
Mr North is one of six candidates who now seem assured of a spot on the new council, along with incumbent mayor Graeme Hanger, Bobby Bourke, Warren Aubin, Jess Jennings and newcomer Alex Christian.
Five candidates – Vince Connor, Jacqui Rudge, Monica Morse, John Fry and Nick Packham – remain in contention for the final three spots once preferences are distributed later in the week.
General manager David Sherley said he was expecting the final make-up of council to be confirmed before the weekend.
“The NSW Electoral Commission is telling me they expect the poll will be officially declared at lunchtime on Friday,” Mr Sherley said.
“All going well there will be a mayoral and deputy mayoral election next Wednesday (September 20) and then we’re planning a full council meeting on (September 27).”
Mr North and Mr Bourke will be the most experienced councillors on the new council and Mr North has already served nine terms as deputy mayor.
He made no secret of the fact he was eyeing the top job this time round.
“I have already said publicly that I will be running for mayor and I feel comfortable in myself and my ability to do the job,” he said.
“Bathurst needs strong leadership and stability after we’ve been through a period of instability and I’ve proven that I am a stable figure on council.”
Mr North confirmed there had already been some discussion about potential mayoral candidates but said he had not yet hit the phones to shore up numbers.
“There’s no point making phone calls until we know who the nine councillors are,” he said.
Mr North said he was looking forward to welcoming some new faces into the council chamber.
Only postal votes, declared institution votes and silent votes are left to be counted before the distribution of preferences begins.