COUNCILLOR John Fry will seek to overturn generations of tradition next week when he calls for a secret ballot to decide the mayor.
Bathurst Regional Council will meet on Wednesday night to elect a mayor and deputy just 12 months out from full local government elections in September 2020.
Four councillors - mayor Graeme Hanger, Jess Jennings, Ian North and Bobby Bourke - remain in the race for the city's top job as lobbying for support continues.
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Cr Monica Morse has confirmed she will be supporting Cr North while Cr Warren Aubin's preference is for the mayor to keep his job.
Cr John Fry said he had a shortlist of two candidates - councillors Hanger and Jennings - but he was also looking at how the ballot would be run.
"... At the beginning of the process the returning officer (the general manager) asks would we like to run it as a secret ballot or a hands-up vote," Cr Fry said.
I'm thinking it should be a ballot because it could take some of the pressure off ...Councillor John Fry
"At this moment I'm thinking it should be a ballot because it could take some of the pressure off and you don't have to worry about repercussions down the track because one councillor didn't vote for another councillor.
"It probably wouldn't change the way I vote and might not change the result but you won't have the grudges that might be carried year after year.
"It's an interesting process where the experienced councillors seem to know the ropes and the new councillors are a bit confused."
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However, Bathurst has always had an open vote for mayor in the past and a number of councillors have already indicated they do not support a secret ballot.
Meanwhile, Cr Aubin said there was no need to change mayor with just 12 months until the election, but he was not convinced Cr Hanger could get the five votes needed.
"My stance has always been that I'm happy to leave the mayor in the seat," he said.
"I don't see the need for change when we are just 12 months out from the next election."
Cr Aubin said Cr Bourke would likely be his second choice as mayor.
Cr Morse believes it is time for a change and said she would be voting for Cr North.
"Ian is a very good representative of the community and is very close to the community," Cr Morse said.
"There is no one more passionate about the future of Bathurst than Ian."
Cr Jacqui Rudge was less forthcoming but said she had two candidates in mind. However, Cr Rudge also said she believed it was time for a change.
This will be the second time Cr Rudge has taken part in a mayoral vote, but the first one was just days after she was elected to council in 2017.
"This time round I know what I'm doing," she said.
"Coming on to council [in 2017] I really had no idea about the running of the place and was not really tuned into it.
"It was very hard when I first came in but now I know what I'm doing."