Councillor John Ryan says he would be surprised if former Dubbo Council mayor Mathew Dickerson does not run for council this September in a bid to reclaim the mayor's robes.
"I'd be very surprised if he doesn't run," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you are when you lose an election like the last state poll, where he campaigned so tirelessly, and it was so costly to him, it would be difficult not to pick a lower-hanging fruit to get a bit of an affirmation that you do have public support and he'll get so much free publicity as a councillor or mayor, it will boost his chances for the next state election in 2023."
Cr Ryan said if he ran Mr Dickerson would be successful.
"Mathew would almost certainly be elected to council," he said.
"Name recognition is by far the single major factor to get elected. After spending so much money taking a tilt at the state seat coupled with all his business billboards which feature his name and face so prominently, his name is out there and so in your face that many people will just write it down at the ballot box.
"Whereas this council is a genuinely progressive and reformist council, Mathew very rarely did anything as either a councillor or a mayor which had the potential to upset people - he told me straight out if someone wanted to do something in Dubbo they had to get the support of the senior staff first, or it wouldn't ever happen - as a new council we've tried to change that culture to one where the elected councillors set the vision and then instruct the staff to implement those directions, and that change has upset many people."
Mr Dickerson said the current council needs " a complete rebuild".
"Unfortunately so much damage has been done over the last four years since the amalgamation this council currently needs a complete rebuild," he said.
"The community has lost trust in the leadership and the morale within the staff is at an all-time low.
"When I became mayor in 2012 I made it one of my public goals to increase the levels of communication within council and between council and the public. Through a huge range of initiatives, I believe we largely achieved that - and the community in the main had trust in us.
"The last Community Needs Survey before the amalgamation had the satisfaction rating of Councillors at 69 per cent; the satisfaction with council overall at 82 per cent and satisfaction with council engagement at 93 per cent. In stark contrast, the most recent survey of this current council saw these number drop dramatically to 26 per cent; 35 per cent and 28 per cent."