THE next Bathurst Regional Council elections are more than six months away and yet we have already seen the first candidate come forward to public announce they are running.
We should have expected nothing less.
For the past three years Bathurst has been led by a council that was deeply divided from day one and is showing no signs of coming together as the next election approaches.
Throughout the past three years, Stuart and Ingrid Pearson have been regulars at council meetings and community events and they have seen more than most residents some of the shenanigans within the chamber.
So Mr Pearson has done what we would like to see more of council's critics do - put up his hand and asked for the chance to do better. He knows he faces an uphill battle and that's one of the reasons he has come out of the blocks so early.
While Mr Pearson writes a monthly column for the Western Advocate where he takes a look at what's being done well in Bathurst and what could be done better, he has not been in the city a long time and would be unknown to most voters.
That puts him a long way back in the race for a council position but, as Alex Christian famously proved in 2017, it's not an insurmountable hurdle.
What Mr Pearson does have going for him is a genuine interest in council matters and an understanding of how council operates - both the good and the bad.
He also has a clear idea of where Bathurst should be heading, particularly with regards to a stronger emphasis on cultural and heritage tourism over sporting tourism.
His suggestion that the second circuit at Mount Panorama be put on the backburner until Bathurst is through its current water crisis will certainly raise some eyebrows, but at least indicates someone who is thinking about different ways to do things.
But given history shows incumbent councillors have a massive advantage at the ballot box, and given Cr Monica Morse is the only incumbent (so far) to confirm she won't be running again, Mr Pearson is starting behind the eight-ball.
But we congratulate for his nomination, and we thank him.
Bathurst will only get the council it needs and deserves if a wide selection of candidates put themselves before the voters.
Mr Pearson is the first; we hope there are many more to come.