First-term councillor Philip Penfold will run against mayoral incumbent and long-term favourite Peter Blackmore at the September election.
Having failed to win the endorsement of the Liberal Party as a mayoral candidate, he has decided to run as an independent.
“I cancelled my membership [of the Liberal Party] on Monday,” he said.
“It has recently been made clear to me that the party fears splitting the vote if they run a Liberal candidate against Peter, despite local Liberal members’ overwhelming view that they should contest the mayoralty.”
Cr Penfold, a young father-of-two and is actively engaged in the social media website Twitter, said it was time for change.
“Cr Blackmore has been a good mayor, but Maitland is very different from when he was first elected in 1980; time moves on and we must move on with it,” he said.
“My chances are slim but thousands of people who are unwilling to support the two carbon tax parties, and can’t bring themselves to vote for Blackmore, currently have no alternative.”
Cr Penfold said his greatest achievement so far, and the basis of his 2008 election platform, was giving every household a free tip pass.
“I played a pivotal role in that,” he said.
“It was a much fairer way of providing that service than only giving the vouchers to the landlords when 25 per cent of people in Maitland rent.”
At the September election he wants to give people a bigger say while presenting a fresh face to the role.
Cr Penfold said public access during council meetings was sometimes limited and prevented council from hearing about some of the most pressing issues.
“There needs to be the opportunity to address the council face-to-face and make it easier to engage with the community,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be at every meeting, but on occasion it would be useful.”