Call for mayoral clarity

Former Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said there would be discussions to determine the new mayor. Photo: FILE

Former Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said there would be discussions to determine the new mayor. Photo: FILE

On the surface, it seems noone is rushing to become mayor or deputy mayor of the new Dubbo Regional Council but former Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said behind the scenes there would be a lot going on.

Just one of the new councillors, Kevin Parker, has confirmed his intention to stand for mayor, while noone has committed to running for deputy.

“It surprises me that we only have one person who has out their hand up so far. I thought there would have been a few people who were keen,” Mr Dickerson said.

“I thought Ben [Shields] would have put his hand up but I think there are still a few days to go and someone else will probably come forward.

Mr Dickerson said he would like to see anyone who was was going to run being open about it in the days leading up to the mayoral election on Thursday.

“I think you are committing to a major role for a long period of time so I think you have to be honest with your fellow councillors and also the community,” he said.

“I really hope they would come out and say here is why I am running for mayor and this are my plans and my goals.”

Mr Dickerson said while there appeared to be very little activity or discussion in public, there would be plenty of phone calls and meetings behind the scenes to discuss who is running.

“You will have people who are interested in positions making phone calls to find out if they have support then others will be comparing notes while deciding who to vote for,” the former mayor said.

“It is important that councillors talk to each other and find out what everyone stands for, rather than just going into the meeting and deciding on the spot.”

Doing deals to secure votes was the wrong way to go about deciding who should be mayor, Mr Dickerson said, with the main decision to focus on who would do the best job for the city.

“People talk about the horse-trading that goes on but councillors should be voting for someone because of what they can offer as mayor,” he said. “For me it was always about what I could offer Dubbo, and communicating that.

“It would be a narrow focus to be going to someone and saying ‘I will vote for you if you do this for me’ and I’d be disappointed if there was a lot of that going on.”