Hastings District councillors remain tight-lipped about who will stand for mayor, except one who is out and proud about voicing her stake.
Hastings-Havelock North councillor Adrienne Pierce delivered her news in January.
When asked what the major issues in Hastings were, Ms Pierce said there were "too many to list".
New ideas and priorities were top of that list and she said it was time to let go of baggage being carried around following amalgamation.
"I personally think a new mayor would be more successful in making that happen," she said.
"We all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle ... so we need to operate with that premise in mind."
Making a swift start to her campaign, the first-term councillor already had billboards organised and said she was partly motivated by women throughout the country who had also stood for mayor.
Despite previous leadership experience, Ms Pierce said standing for mayor "takes it all to another level".
"Politics is a contact sport, I accept that ... my rule to myself is to play the ball, not the man."
She said she did not like current council culture and her mission would be to improve open communication.
Mayor Lawrence Yule was still undecided about whether he would throw his hat back in the ring for another term and would make his stance clear closer to the time.
He said others had told him they were standing but it would be inappropriate to name them with Ms Pierce the only confirmed candidate.
The mayor said Hastings' major issues were strengthening Hawke's Bay Opera House and a continuation of job-attraction policies, as well as ensuring there was enough zoned land for the current economic boom.
Water storage and allocation and a GE-free district were also high on the agenda.
Revitalising Hastings was topical, too, and he encouraged people to consider standing for the upcoming elections.
"It is a rewarding and stimulating role doing what you can to support your local community."
Councillor Malcolm Dixon said he was in favour of Mr Yule standing again.
"The community has no idea how tirelessly he works to make Hastings a better place and the high esteem he is held in throughout New Zealand and overseas."
Mr Dixon said there were multiple positive happenings in Hastings but more land, jobs, a skills training centre for youth, more vibrancy and an enhanced cafe culture were needed.
"Hastings is the heart of Hawke's Bay and we need to all become proud of that and tell people why."
He said idle youth who needed employment were an issue, as well as "knockers who are quick to criticise".
Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe said the district needed to head in a direction that captured the hearts and minds of people.
He said he was concerned by the level of poverty, with the gap between the rich and poor increasing.
He said the newly-elected mayor needed to remember they were "servants of the people".
"Add a dash of love, compassion, humility, understanding, forgiveness, patience and empathy and hey, presto - you have a servant for the people, of the people, by the people.
"Relationships are the currency of the future."
Councillor Simon Nixon said he would definitely stand for councillor again but was still undecided about setting his sights on mayor.
"It depends on the landscape. I do think we need a change of leadership."
Mr Nixon said he was critical of Mr Yule and that poor decisions had been made.
There was a lack of understanding of the economy and new priorities were needed under new leadership, he said.
A major concern was the lack of flights coming in and out of the region. "Jetstar coming in highlights how badly serviced we've been for so many years."
He also said tertiary education could be bumped up in the region. While secondary education was good, tertiary appeared to be lacking.