SOME might say you get more time for committing a serious crime, but Leeton shire mayor Paul Maytom wouldn’t have it any other way.
On Wednesday night councillor Maytom was honoured for his 30 years of service as an elected councillor on Leeton Shire Council.
At a gala dinner before 800 other mayors, councillors and general managers from across the state, Cr Maytom was presented with an “outstanding service award” by Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades.
The dinner was held at the conclusion of the sector’s annual conference in Sydney.
Cr Maytom was first elected to council in 1987 and this year entered his 13th year as mayor, making him the longest-serving councillor and mayor in Leeton shire.
In acknowledging the achievement Mr Rhoades referenced the commitment, passion and tenacity that is required from elected representatives.
"It's a tough gig - only those who genuinely and tirelessly serve their communities are able to
maintain the confidence of their constituents for 30 years,” he said.
“Paul Maytom is testament to service above self.”
Deputy mayor George Weston and his wife Carol, Cr Maytom’s wife Julie and general manager
Jackie Kruger were in attendance on the night.
Cr Weston said it was a pleasure working alongside the mayor.
"Paul has that special mix of being deeply caring for the most marginalised of people on the one hand, while on the other passionately fronting MPs in Parliament House to champion the cause of business in our shire,” he said.
“He is also a great mentor.
“When I was first elected to council, Paul was very supportive and helped me get to grips with being an effective councillor.
“He is very accessible to both councillors and the community."
Much has changed over 30 years, but Cr Maytom said he had enjoyed being part of all of it.
In recent times he has led council through the Fit for the Future process to ensure Leeton shire remains sustainable in the years to come.
"It's been a pleasure to serve the community I love,” he said.
“We've seen many changes in local government over the decades - mostly for the best - and occasionally we've had to fight for our cause.
“I keep coming back as I really believe that local government makes a positive difference everyday to the lives of our residents and ratepayers.
“I also keep coming back because I have enjoyed the full support of my wife and my family.
“I share this award with Julie as I could not have done it for this long without her backing.”