TENTERFIELD mayor Toby Smith has announced he will not seek re-election for council in the September local government elections.
Cr Smith said he had always intended to serve three terms on council and this year marked the end of that time.
“After 13 years on council and seven years as mayor, I feel my job is done,” he said.
“There have been many great achievements for the Tenterfield Shire and I am proud to be a part of that.”
Cr Smith said he had been born in Tenterfield and intended to remain here following his retirement from council, “pottering around my farms and visiting my family more often than I can now”.
He said there had been pressure from his family to retire, and the mayoral position was “getting to be a big job these days”.
Deputy Mayor Peter Petty, who will seek re-election in September, said Cr Smith had done “a bloody great job”.
“He’s been mayor for seven years and I think he’s done an outstanding job,” Cr Petty said.
“There have been a lot of things he’s had to deal with and he is leaving council in good stead.
“He’s made the call early and anyone who has ambitions of standing for mayor will have plenty of time to do that.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay congratulated Cr Smith on his contribution to the shire.
“I have had a close working relationship with him and the Tenterfield Shire, and he has always put the strong views of Tenterfield and its community to me on a wide range of issues.
“He has seen a lot of very good public outcomes. I wish him and his wife a very enjoyable retirement.”
Cr Smith said he believed Tenterfield Shire Council had achieved a lot during his time as mayor.
“There have been several achievements,” he said. “To get the alternative route for heavy vehicles to the stage it’s at and to have the sewerage treatment works opened after initially putting plans in back in 1994 – that’s been a major achievement.”
Among other highlights, Cr Smith listed the completion of Urbenville’s water treatment plant, roadworks including upgrades to Torrington Road and Mt Lindesay Road, and walkways and fencing in Shirley Park.
“There have been big improvements at the saleyards. That’s been a great boon for Tenterfield,” he said.
“There are new supermarkets, new development and lots of new houses.”
He thanked current and past Members for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay and Thomas George, and Member for New England Tony Windsor for their achievements in the shire, and said promoting Tenterfield had been one “a great pleasure”, including appearing on television’s Today Show from London in 2005.
“All in all, it’s been a very productive period,” Cr Smith said. “I feel history will judge this council very well. I’ve enjoyed being part of it.”
The mayors of both Glen Innes Severn and Armidale Dumaresq councils have also announced they will retire at the coming election. Local government elections will be held on Saturday, September 8 this year.