One way or another, Clarence Valley Council’s first mayor, Dr Ian Tiley, will be a key participant in the upcoming September 4 election of the valley’s next set of councillors.
Doctor Tiley, who is currently the mayor of Armidale Regional Council (ARC), said he is giving “serious consideration” to running for council.
“I clearly recognise that I’m not a young fellow anymore,” he said, “[and] I’ve got to look after my health and things like that, [but] I believe there’s a dire need of reform of Clarence Valley Council and I believe I can make a contribution to the reform process.
“I’ll be encouraging good people to run for council.
“The Clarence Valley Council, in my view, can achieve a whole lot of good for the people it represents, but it will need to change the way it operates.
“I still live in Maclean and am a Clarence Valley person, [but] for various reasons I stayed up here [in Armidale] longer than anticipated, but my heart is in the Clarence Valley.”
Previously, Dr Tiley served as mayor of the former Maclean Shire Council from 1997 to 2000 and was the first mayor of the merged Clarence Valley Council from 2005 to 2008.
Dr Tiley was appointed administrator of ARC in 2015, when Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra councils were merged, and held the role until September 2017.
With the ambition to lead ADC, he was subsequently the first elected, however, he “didn’t become the mayor and things deteriorated at council over a period of time”.
“On June 12 last year, the Minster suspended the council and installed an interim administrator,” he said.
“At that time, the mayor, deputy mayor and two other councillors resigned.
“On December 12, the Minister returned the council.
“We had an election for mayor and I was elected unopposed.”
Doctor Tiley said his ambition, in the short time between now and the implementation of the caretaker mode for NSW councils (four weeks prior to the election), was to meet the requirements of a performance audit.
“We have financial protocols to observe – that’s a tough situation but I’m using my experience to try and get the council back as a trusted and functioning entity,” he said.
“But it’s my intention to come home.”
Dr Tiley, who is a research fellow at the University of New England’s business school, authored Divided We Fall? An Insider’s Perspective on Local Government Amalgamations (2012) and co edited Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform (2015) with Brian Dollery – Dr Tiley penned chapter 7: Clarence Valley Council in New South Wales: A Successful Municipal Merger?.