MORE respect for community views is what mayoral candidate Neil Jones is offering Orange residents when they go to the polls on December 4.
Mr Jones, a member of the Greens, on Friday announced he will stand for mayor only at the upcoming Orange City Council election and the former councillor believes he has a good chance of being elected.
First elected to council in 2008, Mr Jones didn't stand for re-election in 2017 when health issues intervened. Now in good health, he said he was keen to offer an alternative at the helm.
"This is an exciting time for Orange and I do believe that council needs new leadership," he said on Friday.
"There are going to be at the very least four new councillors elected at the coming elections so there'll be some relatively inexperienced people come on board."
Mr Jones said that when that was put in the context of Orange's growing population and housing prices going through the roof, a change in leadership style was needed.
"I will bring to the role a focus on consultation, cooperation and transparency and a respect for the views of all members of our community.
"I think some of that has been missing in the past so I want to bring to the council, I guess my lifetime of leadership."
Mr Jones, a former senior lecturer in agriculture and horticulture management and a resident of Orange for 40 years, said the incumbent council had done a good job in securing investment for Orange.
"They've done a great job but it's not necessarily resulting in sustainable employment so we need to refocus on how we can bring investments to town that results in long-term employment for the young people of Orange."
Mr Jones suffered a heart attack in 2017 and later underwent a quadruple bypass.
"I have fully recovered and I'm still heavily involved in council community committees, I'm still on the companion animal committee, the parks and trees committee, so I've been keeping a good watch on things."
He said Involvement in those committees had helped him maintain a good working relationship with Orange City Council staff, which he also had as a councillor and which he said was an important aspect of the mayoral role.
High on his agenda will be the delivery of strategies ensuring water security, affordable housing, facilities for young people, local renewable energy and protecting and enhancing urban green space.
"I just think it's time to present to the community an alternative and I think I'm a good alternative," he said.
Mr Jones believes he has a good chance of gaining election.
"I don't hide from the fact that I am a member of the Greens and while I have never pushed Greens politics within council, that is the philosophy that underpins what I believe, which is environment and social equity and welfare and so on.
"I think that people respect me and I think on that basis I've got a pretty good chance."
Lead Greens candidate for the election David Mallard announced Mr Jones candidacy on Friday with fellow candidates Haidee Edwards and AnneMaree McLaughlin.
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