Mayor Longland plans to run again
TWEED Mayor Barry Longland will contest the next council election on September 8, while the man he replaced as mayor last year, Cr Kevin Skinner, will walk away.
Cr Longland told The Daily News yesterday of his intention to run to put an end to the speculation about whether he would seek another four-year term on the council.
"I haven't responded before because I guess my focus has been on the job," Cr Longland said.
"If I announced earlier that I would be a candidate then every event I attend would become political."
Cr Skinner said he was not contesting the next election for family reasons.
"I have two new beautiful grandchildren adding to the four I already have," Cr Skinner said.
"I have been happy with some of the things I have achieved in the last term.
"It was an absolute honour to be mayor for a term."
Cr Skinner said his ousting as mayor after 12 months was not the reason for his decision.
"I have my family and my own business to focus on," Cr Skinner said.
"It (council) is a bit of a thankless task."
Cr Longland said he was excited about the challenge of the election and he had learnt a lot from the past four years.
"I am looking forward to a more progressive council," he said.
"For too long there have been extremes in our council that tend to work against good outcomes for the shire.
"There is a community expectation that we provide the leadership for sustainable progress that will build our Shire and protect our natural assets.
"With the experience of the past four years, I believe I can bring stability and balance to the new council and a vision for a prosperous future for our beautiful valley."
Cr Longland said a top priority for him was to put Murwillumbah's development control plan back on the agenda and to build prosperity for the region.
"Development of Murwillumbah South is part of that plan," Cr Longland said.
Cr Longland did not reveal who were the other candidates on his ticket but he was planning a formal campaign launch with his election team at the end of the month.
Other councillors have indicated that they would contest the council election in September.