Clarence Valley Council 2020 elections: Who's in/out
WITH less than 200 sleeps before council elections capture the imaginations of citizens across the Clarence, we can reveal which of the current crop will be vying for your vote.
Putting to bed a series of rumours, four councillors have confirmed they will run, two are undecided, two will not and one is "unlikely to run".
Andrew Baker has confirmed he would not be running, bringing an end to his two terms in the position.
"I know there'll be Valley-wide heartache and a great gnashing of teeth but no, I'll not be standing for re-election in September," Cr Baker said.
The single Greens councillor elected in 2016, Greg Clancy said he would be standing again and had been receiving positive feedback from residents after his first term.
"I feel like I have had good community support and have stood up for the things I said I would stand up for," he said.
Cr Peter Ellem confirmed he was likely to seek re-election to build on positive wins for the community like the Grafton Regional Art Gallery redevelopment, sealing sections of James Creek Road and McIntyres Lane, and securing roundabouts instead of traffic lights on Yamba Road.
"Other initiatives have been an ongoing trial to deter illegal camping on Yamba and Angourie's beachfront, saving Glenreagh's pool from closure, and my record of supporting balanced and sustainable development, including social housing for pensioners in South Grafton," he said.
Still yet to decide is Cr Jason Kingsley who said he would reserve his judgment until closer to the election.
The two-term councillor said the steep leaning curve meant people with a good understanding of business were particularly well suited to the role and his decision might depend on the mix of candidates.
"Council is very diverse but you really have to understand business a little," he said.
The other councillor bowing out is Arthur Lysaught saying he really wants to see s "younger business heads" get involved.
"It would be fantastic to see some younger men and women and I hope there is someone out there with the business acumen," he said.
"If ever there was a need for it, this was the time."
Debrah Novak confirmed she would throw her hat in the ring and also wanted to encourage younger faces to put their names forward. The councillor said she would run community workshops in the Clarence Valley for those who might be interested in putting themselves forward.
Mayor Jim Simmons suggested he would have to "get a bit fitter" before he made a decision on running again.
Karen Toms candidacy was a lock, with one of the most experienced councillors saying she had loved being on the "steep learning curve" that came with the job.
"Even though I have been there three terms I am under no illusions I haven't finished learning," she said.
"I enjoy representing people and I enjoy the intellectual challenges and critical thinking that comes with decision making."
Council veteran, former mayor Richie Williamson said he was unlikely to stand, potentially ending a council career spanning over 15 years.