WHEN they were elected as mayor and deputy mayor on July 14, Ian North and Monica Morse knew they didn't have much time to effect change for Bathurst Regional Council.
However, news that the local government election has been delayed will enable them to achieve more in their brief term as leaders.
NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock on Saturday confirmed the election date had been pushed back from September 4 to December 4, "to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities, voters, polling staff and candidates."
On Sunday, Cr North supported the decision, saying that the health and safety of the community had to be prioritised over the election.
He also called for the NSW Electoral Commission to implement digital voting so people didn't have to leave their homes to participate in the election in December.
As Bathurst's new mayor, he has welcomed the additional three months to his term.
After the election, he said it was a priority for him to start healing the divisions in council and to do some groundwork on key projects.
The extra time will allow him to achieve more on both fronts.
"Without a doubt, that gives me five to six months in the job and it definitely does help, because I've already sat down with [council's general manager] David Sherley and had a lot of discussions. I think he's got 35 items on the list that I want to start with," said Cr North.
He said he has already had discussions with Bathurst RSL Club about the plans for the Bathurst Integrated Medical Centre, which will be built on land owned by the club, and businessman Peter Rogers about his ideas to promote Bathurst, as well as a couple of other local business owners.
He is also hoping to bring the different Aboriginal groups in Bathurst together under his goal of creating better relationships between council and the community.
"[The later election] gives me a chance to be able to do those in not a rushed manner, because it's got to be done properly. My style of leadership will be different to previous mayors and this gives me a chance to show that and fix a few things that I believe we need to adjust the course on," Cr North said.
He will be one of eight current councillors seeking re-election in December, while Cr Morse will retire at the end of this term.
She said she is happy to continue on for another three months and said delaying the election will "give people a bit of an even keel for the next few months".
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