After 12 years in the role, Ceduna mayor Allan Suter believes it is time to step aside.
The long-serving mayor has decided to not stand for re-election at the November council elections, ending a run of 15 years on the Ceduna District Council.
He said the time felt right.
“I have been in local government for 15 years, 12 as mayor, and I just feel that it is time for somebody else to take responsibility and for me to step back,” he said.
“I decided (to retire) after the last election but it was not exactly set in stone.
“I have taken my time to think about it and it is time.”
Elected as mayor in 2006, Mr Suter said there were “quite a few” issues he felt the council had successfully tackled during that period.
“I have to say that issues are tackled not just by me but the entire council.
“The issues of deaths through various issues because people’s health was neglected, largely through alcohol and drug abuse, has been a huge issue for all councils I have been involved in and it is the best state we’ve been in – it is not perfect, but better than before.
“There have been quite a few things achieved, certainly the successful introduction of the cashless debit card, the many improvements made to facilities over the course of four councils, the Thevenard fish unloading facility, the council’s involvement in regenerating Far West football when it was temporarily suspended, and improvements in governance of council, which is an ongoing exercise.”
Mr Suter also looked back at what he hoped had turned out differently, including the Ceduna swimming enclosure and Ceduna Marina.
“I will cop the swimming enclosure on the chin for taking so long, I apologise that it has taken this amount of time,” he said.
“In a way it was just as well, as some earlier concepts were not supported by the community or were unviable because of engineering – for example, if we built the floating pontoon we would have spent a lot of money then found it would be washed up on the beach at the first sign of strong weather.
“The deepening of the Port of Thevenard is one thing council’s put effort into but not achieved, but certainly there is still action happening on that front, and the Ceduna Marina is probably the biggest disappointment and looked promising, unfortunately the first developer failed and it didn’t happen.”
His reign has at times polarised the community but Mr Suter said he was looking forward to his final six months as mayor.
“Some people will be appreciative of what I’ve been able to achieve and some will be far from it – that’s okay, if you try to please everybody you please nobody,” he said.
“I won’t neglect my duties in the next few months, I will conscientiously do my job.
“What I will do at the end of my term is thank the community for the privilege of being mayor.”
When his time as mayor does end, Mr Suter said he would slow down.
“I will be taking life a bit easier,” he said.
“I’ll still be the independent conveyor for the Kimba radiation depository and be on the Regional Development Australia board unless not re-elected.
“I will also be a proud member of the Ceduna community, and it is a great community.”