IT seems impossible to consider a Bobby Bourke mayoralty without again broaching the topic of a popularly-elected mayor for Bathurst Regional Council.
Cr Bourke has campaigned for a decade or more on the topic, trying (unsuccessfully on each occasion) to garner the five votes he needs within the chamber to hold a referendum in conjunction with council elections.
It seems a simple enough request: Let's just ask the people of Bathurst if they want to directly elect their own mayor. If they say yes, they would have the chance to do so at the next elections. If they say no, the issue would be decided once and for all.
Of course, it could never be that easy.
Cr Bourke has consistently been thwarted by fellow councillors who argue that it should remain up to the elected representatives to elect the leader (as happens at state and federal government levels) while sceptics in the community have wondered out loud if Cr Bourke's interest in a popularly-elected mayor was founded on a belief that he could become the region's first leader elected that way.
In the end, he didn't need it; Cr Bourke became mayor anyway.
But those who know him know that becoming mayor was never was drove Cr Bourke on this issue.
He simply believes the people have the right to choose who leads them and that a general election for mayor would do away with the intense lobbying that can precede a mayoral election where only the nine councillors get a say.
Just as we've seen over the past month or more.
The campaign for last week's mayoral vote was the most intense we've seen for many years in Bathurst and must have been a huge distraction for all councillors.
For a month or more the lobbying for votes took attention away from some of the serious issues facing our region - particularly water security.
And in the end we're left with a majority bloc on council that could crack at any moment, potentially creating exactly the scenario that having councillors elect the mayor is supposed to avoid.
So while nothing more will be said about a popularly-elected mayor before full council elections in September 2020, this issue looks far from dead and buried.
In the end, it might take Cr Bourke becoming mayor the old-fashioned way for some to be convinced there might be a better way.