Bill Palmer sets his hat on becoming the mayor

BILL PALMER says he has what it takes to be the mayor of Coffs Harbour.

Cr Palmer yesterday announced he would now run for the top job at the September 13 local government election.

It follows the 77-year-old's recent decision to seek a third term as a councillor.

“If some of the contenders presume to be mayoral material, then so can I,” Cr Palmer said.

“I have almost nine years of experience gained by making myself aware of what council is about, and have the energy and dedication for the task of mayor of Coffs Harbour.”

He said an important mayoral task was to continue lobbying the State and Federal governments for funding, 'to progress the development and welfare of the city'.

“Keen analysts of the things we hope to achieve with the announced rate rise (2008/2009) will have noted the program is about replacing bridges, etc,” Cr Palmer said.

“We are still playing catch up. Critics of economic management by this council know little of the cheese-paring carried out by staff and councillors in developing the management plan.”

He said one of the 'sleeping needs' of the area was a ring-road network involving Mastracolas Road and West Coffs.

“The euphoria we have enjoyed with the completion of Hogbin Drive will soon wear off, and it is never too early to start planning for smooth traffic movement.”

In the race for mayor, Cr Palmer - who is finalising his ticket - is up against the incumbent, Cr Keith Rhoades, deputy mayor Cr Rod McKelvey, local trade unionist and former federal election candidate John Fitzroy and the Greens' Mark Graham.

Key election dates: Nominations for Council open on August 4 and close at noon on August 13. Electoral rolls will close August 4 at 6pm.

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