IF not for the coronavirus pandemic, Bathurst residents would have been preparing to go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new Bathurst Regional Council.
In fact, many would have already cast their votes after a two-week pre-polling marathon that would have tested the resilience and resources of all candidates.
Once the votes had been cast and counted, the nine successful candidates would have hit the phones ahead of their first decision - voting for a mayor and deputy mayor at the first meeting of the new council.
Of course, none of that was meant to be. Instead, the current nine councillors have been given another 12 months in the job and Bobby Bourke will hold on to the mayoral chains for another year - but it's worth wondering what could have been.
The biggest council issue over the past few months has been the ongoing debate over whether a go kart track should be built in McPhillamy Park at the top of Mount Panorama and, had an election been held this weekend, it's likely that that would have been one of the key policy issues throughout campaigning.
Those opposed to the McPhillamy Park site would have lobbied all candidates seeking to bring them around to their way of thinking and hoped that enough new faces (sympathetic to their cause) would be elected to renew the search for a different location. It's unlikely they would have been successful, though.
History shows that incumbent councillors who seek re-election are very rarely defeated and only Cr Monica Morse, one of the few councillors who is openly opposed to the McPhillamy Park site, has so far indicated she does not plan to run again.
With all that weighed against them, it's hard to see how opponents of the McPhillamy Park site could believe they have a realistic chance of winning their fight.
But that's all what could have been; how about what might be to come?
It's tough to maintain the rage on any issue for a full 12 months so the Save McPhillamy Park campaign faces a real challenge if they hope for this to still be a live issue at next year's election.
And then there's the question of how much work is done on the track over the next 12 months. It's one thing trying to get it moved before work on the track has started; once it's under way, though, it will become many, many times more difficult.
There are several mountains to climb. We wait to see if they have the energy.
What do you think?
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