Belcher’s poll backflip
Former councillor in mayoral race
TWO months after resigning as a councillor and bowing out of the mayoral race, New Norfolk’s Paul Belcher has announced he will stand for reelection at next month’s Derwent Valley Council election and hopes to be elected mayor.
Elected to the council in October 2014, Mr Belcher resigned in July due to his concerns that a new employment opportunity could present a conflict of interest with his council role. He had spent the previous eight months campaigning to be elected mayor.
“I recently resigned as an elected member of the Derwent Valley Council due to an employment opportunity in a development bringing new investment to the municipality,” Mr Belcher said in a statement this week.
“This was a difficult decision following nearly four years as a councillor, and after months of campaigning for election as mayor. I felt that this new job would present a conflict of interest with my role on council but it now appears that will not be the case.”
Mr Belcher said he had been reconsidering his position after receiving many requests to re-enter the mayoral contest.
“Having greatly missed working for the ratepayers and residents of the Derwent Valley in the last few months, I have decided that I will renominate for election as a councillor and mayor,” he said.
“Sitting on the outside looking in over the last two months, I have also noticed that many of the intending candidates for next month’s election are not concentrating on the 3Rs — the issues of roads, rates and rubbish that are of concern to us all,” he said.
Nominations for candidates in next month’s election opened on Monday and will close at noon on September 25. The names of all candidates are expected to be announced the next day.
Anyone who is unsure of their eligibility to vote in the election has until tomorrow to check with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission.
Mr Belcher’s return to the campaign brings to four the number of people known to be intending to nominate for the position of mayor. The others are sitting councillors Julie Triffett and Ben Shaw, and former councillor Chris Lester.
Mayor Martyn Evans said he would nominate for the position of deputy mayor, along with Rachel Power, Wayne Shoobridge and Cr Frank Pearce.
Mr Belcher said he felt most candidates were not focusing on the issues of most concern to the ratepayers and residents of the Derwent Valley, which he said were roads, rates and rubbish.
“Rubbish is a big issue, with multiple reports of illegal dumping throughout the municipality each month since the tip fees were increased in the most recent council budget,” he said.
HE’S BACK: Paul Belcher