Mayor Darren Power has announced he will retire from Logan’s top spot at the next council election.

Cr Power will step down as mayor in March next year, ending a near thirty-year career in politics.

The mayor told MyCityLogan he was proud of all council has achieved under his leadership, but was “tired and needs a rest”.

“I’ve just about achieved everything I wanted to achieve, and certainly as divisional councillor I’ve ticked off everything,” Cr Power said.

“After getting the Olympic venue, stopping the Inland Rail, getting through the Covid crisis and getting four great budgets, I’m thinking: why not leave on a high?

“A lot of politicians leave it too late and leave when they’re not wanted – I think I’d rather do something different and leave while I’m popular.”

It seems that after years of living on call 24/7, the mayor is excited for the small things like dentist appointments he has been “putting off” and “of course”, family events.

“As mayor, if a disaster happens, you’re the one people go to and you’re the one making decisions,” he said.

“When you’re in the top job, you’ve got so much responsibility that you just can’t go on forever.”

He said the role of mayor has changed in recent years.

“From now on, mayors and politicians won’t be serving the large number of years that I have, because the burnout will come a lot earlier.

“In 1997 when I took up the councillor role, it was a lot easier – the community was a lot smaller, the city was a lot smaller, and the responsibility was a lot smaller.

“As it’s progressed, we’re now a major city.”

Cr Power was first elected to Logan City Council in 1997, serving as the Division 10 representative for 22 years.

He was elected mayor in March 2020.

But his mayoral run almost never happened.

“I was looking at retirement in the previous term, but there was no one who I thought was up to the to the mark to run for mayor,” he said.

“So, I said, I’m going to run.”

Cr Power was always anticipated to be a one-term mayor, filling the position after the former mayor, Luke Smith, and several former councillors were dismissed on corruption charges.

He was the first whistle-blower in the case against them and said he would do it all again should it happen today.

He said he has “absolutely no regrets”.

“I was the original whistleblower… and I was really concerned with what I could see,” he said.

“Regarding the outcome, with Mr Smith being charged and found guilty, I think everyone had just had enough and that’s why they decided not to go to court.

“But there was a lot of tales not told and there’s a lot of things that never actually got out.”

Cr Power said it was “best to look forward, not backwards” and the city had “really gone ahead since then”.

He said the current council had achieved a lot, especially considering “where we came from”.

“We came from a deficit from the administrator, and we obviously had to rewrite all the policies to tighten everything up so that it couldn’t be abused.”

The mayor said Logan, and the rest of the country, was facing some serious issues that would have long-lasting impacts.

“It’s going well for Logan, but we’ve got some really big problems coming up, with the fact that infrastructure charges have been frozen for 11 years, construction costs went up 30 per cent last year and they’re going up 30 per cent this year, and we’ve also got construction companies that won’t give fixed prices for things anymore,” he said.

“So, it’s going to be very, very hard for councillors to meet budgets.

“But there’s always going to be challenges.”

Cr Power said he wasn’t sure what the future would hold for him, but it might involve revisiting his former hobby: golf.

“My son bought me a set of golf clubs three years ago, and I’ve used it once,” he said.

He said he used to play 30 years ago, but once he joined council it became “too much”.

“I’m not good at doing nothing, and I’ve been so busy for so long,” he said.

The 2024 Queensland Local Government elections are on 16 March 2024.

Cr Power will see out the full term, and thanked his current former colleagues, council staff and his family for their support.

 

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