AFTER 20 years with Ballina Shire Council, Mayor Phillip Silver last week announced that he won't be running for election this year.
"Nobody owns the job; it's not mine. I've been thinking about this for a while now and I really think it's the right time," he said.
"It's a demanding job and I want to spend more time with my family.
"And after 20 years on the council, I think I have done my bit and I am looking forward to doing other things."
He first campaigned for election in C Ward in 1990 but was unsuccessful. Two years later he claimed victory at a by-election.
After 10 years, Cr Silver decided to run for mayor and has kept the position ever since.
He was the shire's first popularly elected mayor.
Now speculation is mounting as to who will take Cr Silver's job in one of the state's fastest growing shires after September.
Two current councillors - Sharon Cadwallader and David Wright - have indicated an interest in the position.
Cr Wright, who has been the mayor before, said he was "certainly interested".
"I am still very passionate about being on the council," Cr Wright said.
"There are a lot of projects I would like to see through, but the mayoral job is a lot bigger now than what it used to be."
Cr Cadwallader said "of course" when asked if she would run for mayor.
She stood for election for mayor at the last election.
"I have worked hard for eight years," Cr Cadwallader said.
"I reckon I'm ready.
"It would be an absolute privilege to serve my community at that level."
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