Cabonne mayor Ian Gosper has thanked the people of Cabonne for their steadfast support over the past nine years after announcing on Thursday he would not seek re-election at next month’s local election.
Cr Gosper, who has served four years as mayor and two as deputy mayor, said he had agonised over the decision, but it was time to step back and let someone else have a go.
He described his experience on council as one of the most rewarding of his life, despite a difficult period in the past few years leading the successful fight to stave off the proposed amalgamation with Orange City and Blayney Shire councils.
“The NSW Government’s decision not to proceed with the merger was a great victory for local democracy,” Cr Gosper said.
“It vindicated council’s stand against the forced amalgamation and the subsequent legal action council took.
“But it could not have been achieved without the unwavering support of the Cabonne community, particularly the ANTY (Amalgamation No Thank You) group which waged a high-profile campaign.”
Cr Gosper said the amalgamation fight came at a great personal cost for many people, including fellow councillors and staff.
“I wish to pass on my sincerest thanks to all the councillors I have served with during the past nine years and the hard-working council staff for their dedication and untiring efforts,” he said.
“Just like our community, Cabonne Council is like a family. It is one of Cabonne’s greatest strengths and sets it apart from city-based councils.”
Cr Gosper said his time as a councillor was only possible because of the wonderful support of his wife Mel and his family.
“My priority now will be to spend more time with Mel, my family and friends,” he said.