AFTER 31 years in local government, West Tamar Mayor Barry Easther has announced he will retire at the end of this term.
Cr Easther said yesterday it was time to step down as he wasn’t getting any younger.
He will turn 74 in October and the new four-year mayoral term would have seen him turn 78 if he had chosen to re-contest.
‘‘The time has really flown,’’ he said.
‘‘I can remember when I was first asked if I would be interested in standing for council by the local branch of the farmers and graziers association.
‘‘We’d just moved down to the river to live ... I was involved with the school and I was invited to join Rotary and one of the farmers asked me, and I said, ‘That sounds good to do something for the community’.
‘‘And then one of their own members decided that he would like to have a go, so the arrangement was within the membership that those on the left-hand side of the highway would vote for one, and those on the other would vote for the other – it was quite funny.’’
Cr Easther was voted onto the then-Beaconsfield Council as a councillor in 1983, before it was renamed West Tamar Council in 1993.
He was first made the warden of the council – what has now become the position of mayor – in 1990 and has been mayor for almost 18 years.
Cr Easther said he and his wife, Jan, had recently bought a caravan and were hoping to spend more time travelling.
He also has a European river cruise booked for next year.
‘‘Time’s marching on and if you don’t start doing things you really want to do, we might not feel like doing it,’’ he said.
Cr Easther is also the Local Government Association of Tasmania president, and announced he was stepping down from that role at the conference in Hobart two weeks ago.
Local government polling across the state will run from October 14 to 28.
Nominations to run for council will close on Monday, September 29.