The fact that Rhonda Hoban has not made any final decision as to her plans for the September council elections, has not affected her energy or enthusiasm for what lies ahead in the near future.
"I am undecided as to whether I will stand again or not, there are a number of factors to weigh up, most pressingly the huge number of major projects we have on the go at the moment," the mayor said.
"It's hard to walk away from projects I've supported from the beginning and have an intimate knowledge about. I am someone who likes to see things finished successfully ... it's hard for me to let go if something is not resolved."
And that list of projects is eye-wateringly long, thanks to the council's successful collaboration with a number of community groups to land a range of infrastructure grants.
So much so that naming her top three priorities is difficult for Rhonda ... but here goes:
Number one: The recovery from the fires and COVID
"These are ongoing challenges and both have their complexities. At the moment there is still the challenge of COVID itself and then there is the post-COVID business recovery ... I am certainly fearful that some businesses may not recover in the longer term.
"The fire recovery is going as well as can be expected. There is no magic formula for something like this because every set of circumstances is different for every family and one-on-one assistance is what is needed. I often feel frustrated at the demarcations between government departments because a holistic approach is what is needed ... and like any grieving process, people recover at different rates."
Number two: The financial sustainability and control of multiple projects
"We've worked hard to achieve the funding and now there is the challenge to get everything done on time. The grants are mainly based around economic stimulus, both Federal and State government, meaning the money needs to be out in the community, providing jobs and stimulus. Budgets are tight as are time frames so there is a lot to do.
"There is the Nambucca Library project, which was given the green light in December plus there is the Nambucca Main Beach renewal, completing the V-Wall upgrade, repairing the boardwalk near the Visitor Information Centre, the Dawkins Park facelift and also the Bowra Hub. Oh! and the completion of the cycleway between Nambucca and Macksville.
"These are all great projects that are creating better amenity for our residents and visitors alike, which is vital for when things return to 'normal'.
"Post COVID, I want the shire to be as ready as possible to put its best foot forward as we step out into the world again. The challenge is getting everything done on time and on budget."
She sees the reinvigoration of the Tourism Association and the reopening of the Visitor Information Centre as serendipity ... perfectly timed to support everything else.
"The group is an excellent mix of those who like to care for the visitors when they are here in the shire (via the VIC) and others who have the skills to get the message out as to what we have to offer."
Number three: Valla Urban Growth Area
"This is without a doubt our largest project financially and therefore comes with the biggest risks - you just can't expect something like this to unfold without hurdles and issues.
"The site has been cleared, the Joint Regional Planning Panel has given the OK, the Development Control Plan is completed, water and sewer are being developed."
With the current housing crisis in the shire becoming ever more acute, Rhonda points to the VUG as a possible site for affordable housing in the medium term.
"It would be relatively easy to develop some of the land nearer the industrial area as affordable housing. There are ridges and buffers, so it would not be unsightly. But that is up to developers, it is not the role of council."
She lists in-fill development as another avenue to be pursued to free up space for more housing.
Returning to the question of the September council elections:
"After four terms on council and three as mayor, if I was feeling tired and worn out then I would definitely be stepping down, but I am not so at this stage I am waiting to make a decision," Rhonda said.
She said the imminent retirement of the general manager, Michael Coulter, in September is certainly a factor.
"I have never worked with any other general manager! It is so important to have a good working relationship, so I am a bit nervous at the thought of working with someone else."
That said, Rhonda was quick to voice her deep appreciation at Michael's decision last year to stay on when the elections were postponed.
"I was horrified at the thought of his departure with the fire recovery and COVID all so fresh - I asked him to stay on and I know he made personal sacrifices to do so. I really appreciate that."
Another factor in the election process is the make-up of the next council.
"I really value diversity on the council but you need to have a mix of new and experienced councillors, a mix of wisdom and history with the fresh energy and enthusiasm.
"We have already lost two experienced councillors in Anne Smyth and Brian Finlayson plus John Ainsworth is retiring, maybe some others. Those gaps impact on a new council."
But for now Rhonda is positive and intent on getting as much done as possible in the next eight months.