McKenzie puts hand up for top job on council

Launceston City Council alderman Hugh McKenzie is keen to give back to the community by running for mayor in the October elections.

Launceston City Council alderman Hugh McKenzie is keen to give back to the community by running for mayor in the October elections.

LAUNCESTON City Council alderman Hugh McKenzie is the first to formally announce he will run for mayor in the October local government elections.

Alderman McKenzie made the announcement on ABC radio yesterday.

Mayor Albert van Zetten returned from two weeks' leave this week and said yesterday afternoon he was still considering if he would recontest.

He was last elected unopposed in 2011.

Alderman van Zetten was first elected to council in 2005 and as mayor in 2007.

Alderman McKenzie, who is a qualified accountant by trade and has continued in a consultancy role with KPMG since his retirement in 2011, said he had been thinking about running and was keen to give back to the community.

He said some within council, as well as others outside of it, had suggested he put up his hand for the top job and the move to a four-year mayoral term also prompted him to run this year.

Alderman McKenzie said he spoke to Alderman van Zetten of his intentions.

``There's some things I would do differently and that's not to say I don't agree with what Albert has done - I think he's done a great job, however I do have a different way of doing things,'' Alderman McKenzie said.

Alderman van Zetten said he was not surprised by Alderman McKenzie's decision and he expected more people to put up their hand for mayor, as it would be four years before the opportunity came up again.

He said he hoped there would be more interest in the election this year as it moved to an all-in election model.

The remaining alderman are also considering their moves.

Alderman Ted Sands has been mentioned as another potential mayoral candidate but was unavailable yesterday.

Alderman Rob Soward said he would recontest for council but was still deciding if he would put up his hand again for deputy mayor.

He lost to Alderman Jeremy Ball in the 2011 election.

Alderman Danny Gibson said he would also recontest, however not seek the position of mayor but would consider the position of deputy.

Aldermen Jim Cox and Robin McKendrick said they would recontest for a place on council and Alderman Tony Peck said he was still considering what he might do.

Alderman Ball could not be contacted. Aldermen Annette Waddle and Ian Norton will not be recontesting.

Alderman Rosemary Armitage cannot recontest while she is a Legislative Councillor.

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