Veteran councillor pulls plug on 16 year career
NOOSA's 16-year local government veteran Russell Green has stunned local politics by abruptly pulling out of the Noosa Council mayoral race.
The Sunshine Coast Division 11 councillor's announcement means he will walk away from elected office as of January 1.
Cr Green admitted that his former thick political hide can no longer take the constant sniping from people as he goes about his day-to-day job.
"I still honestly believe I would have won the mayoralty race, but I don't think myself and family and friends needed the collateral damage that might have gone on," Cr Green said.
"It's just a huge commitment to do a campaign properly and if you weren't 100% committed to the end product and where that was going to take you as a person, it's best to pull out now.
"I think the campaign would have had to have been very hard, would have been very full on. I was no longer willing for that personal toll."
The councillor, who was first elected to council in 1997, said it had reached the stage where he could not go out and have a morning coffee or even a morning cycle without people talking about council business.
"I want to be able to go to (Noosa Rugby Union) Dolphin Oval on a Saturday afternoon and just be one of the boys on the hill and yelling out," he said.
Cr Green said he had spoken to key supporters like Jim Berardo of the Hastings Street Association, former Coast mayor Bob Abbot and past Noosa council colleague Vivien Griffin and they all support his decision.
"They fully understood. But I've received two phone calls already this morning from people calling me a selfish bastard. (They said) First you were going, then you're not."
Cr Green said it will be business as usual for the next six months as he helps steer the best de-amalgamation deal for Noosa.
He has no job lined up after politics at this stage.
"I'm like everyone else. I've got a mortgage, I've got bills to pay and all that sort of stuff."
The former plumber and gas fitter may seek a potential role in government but "on the other side" using his wealth of planning knowledge, or he may seek a return to former lifesaving and aquatic industry positions.
"It may be that I get a coffee van and start making short blacks. I don't know."