THE battle for Albury's mayor and deputy mayor roles will have no shortage of contenders in coming weeks with the added bonus of a pay rise.
The two-year terms of mayor Kevin Mack and deputy mayor Amanda Cohn are up for grabs in September as the present council reaches the half-way mark of its term.
Councillors this week agreed to a pay rise with the additional mayoral fee up $1050 to $43,170 compared to 2017-18 and the councillor allowance increasing $480 to $19,790.
But Cr Cohn abstained from voting due to her belief councillors shouldn’t decide their own pay.
Cr Mack has no intention to stand aside as mayor, but Cr Henk van de Ven and Cr Alice Glachan have previously been mayors and a desire to return to the top job can’t be ruled out.
“I will put my hand up as I would ordinarily do because there is a lot more work to be done,” Cr Mack said.
“We’re approaching half-time and got the premiership quarter to come.”
The NSW Government mandated two-year mayoral terms in the lead-up to the 2016 council elections.
The deputy mayor role has also been previously filled by Cr David Thurley and Cr van de Ven.
Cr Mack can still serve as mayor if, as expected, he stands as an independent candidate in next year’s NSW elections against Liberal incumbent Greg Aplin.
Since last year, Local Government Remuneration Tribunal has carried out a review and re-categorised councils across the state.
Albury is one of 37 council areas included in the regional-rural group with the maximum allowance being paid to its nine councillors including mayor.
Meanwhile, the council has adopted 2018-19 budget with a rate rise of 2.3 per cent in line with the NSW Government’s rates peg.
The domestic waste management charge will be maintained at $250 due to surplus funds held in reserve.
Big ticket items include bringing forward of improvements to the roundabout at Thurgoona Drive and Elizabeth Mitchell Drive.
We’re approaching half-time and got the premiership quarter to comeMayor Kevin Mack
The budget has also allowed for completion of the reconstruction of Kerr Road to Thurgoona Drive and a realignment of Kerr Road to create a new access point to the Hume Freeway at Davey Road.
The council has also agreed to include $115,000 for new diving structures at the Lavington Swim Centre.
A further $100,000 will be spent on improving shade structures, seating and disability access at Albury Swim Centre.
Aligned Leisure, a business arm of the Richmond Football Club, will manage both pools and those in Wodonga for the next five years in a deal confirmed recently.
Albury’s total budget for 2018-19 is $135 million.