By OSCAR PERRI
Mayor of Alice Springs Damien Ryan has announced that he will not be contesting the next council election.
The Mayor broke the news to family, fellow elected members, council officers and former council staff at a Mayor’s morning tea this morning, according to sources who attended the event.
This comes after months of speculation, with Mayor Ryan remaining tight lipped about his future until today. At the budget draft announcement on Wednesday he said he was still putting off his decision until June.
Mr Ryan has served as Mayor since 2008, though last year he temporarily stood down to contest the Northern Territory election as the CLP candidate for Araluen, with the promise of a front bench seat if the party was successful. When he failed to win he returned to his office at council.
In February he accepted a three year appointment as the LGANT representative on the NT Heritage Council, resulting in speculation that he would re-contest.
The upcoming Federal election looms, and CLP have held off on announcing their candidate to contest Lingiari, held by retiring long term Labor MP Warren Snowdon.
Current councillors Eli Melky and Jimmy Cocking have announced that they are running for Mayor.
Mayor Ryan was contacted for comment but has not replied.
PHOTO: Mayor Ryan (left) – an eye on Lingiari from which Warren Snowdon is retiring?
UPDATE 9.15am May 28
This morning Mayor Ryan confirmed to the News that his last official day will be on August 5, ahead of the council election.