FORMER mayor Greg Westman has not ruled out a future tilt at council after deciding not to nominate for next month’s local government election.
Cr Westman has served nine years on Bathurst Regional Council following his surprise election in 2008 when he ran as number four on Paul Toole’s ticket.
Just three years later Cr Westman was elected mayor after Mr Toole made the switch to state parliament, and he retained his seat on council at the 2012 poll.
But a change of career and a new job with Raine & Horne Bathurst has left Cr Westman doubting he has the time to devote to council – for now, at least.
“I just wanted to focus on my new role and make sure I’m not dragging any perceived conflicts of interest into council,” he said.
“I’m hopeful we can get together a good council out of the names that have come forward.
“There are some good candidates there and then there are – well, the others.”
Cr Westman said candidates for the September 9 election should be prepared to make decisions that will help shape Bathurst for decades to come.
“The real highlight for me has been the long-term strategy stuff and putting forward planning decisions for the future growth of the city,” he said.
“New councillors can certainly expect to be put into some tough decision-making where you have to think about long-term factors rather than short-term benefits.”
He said councillors must also have a good working relationship with council staff.
“If councillors have a set direction on issues but staff are not able to understand where they’re heading, then we have a problem.”
Cr Westman said his 12 months as mayor was a “remarkable” time for him.
“Anyone who has sat in that chair and done that role would say the same thing,” he said.
“Just the in-depth knowledge and contact you have with the community on all fronts is amazing. You gain a full and comprehensive understanding of our community.
“It was a great personal growth opportunity for me.”
Cr Westman said he would keep an eye on council and might consider running again in the future.