AN OVERWHELMING majority of Griffith's councillors have backed mayor Mike Neville to complete his tenure in the months leading up to his sexual assault trial.
On Monday, Griffith Business Chamber called for Cr Neville to stand down after a date was set for a retrial following a hung jury verdict in April.
Cr Neville is accused of four charges of aggravated sexual assault and four charges of aggravated indecent assault involving two women between 2003 and 2010.
He stood his ground this week, rejecting the call to resign and promising to lead the community into the council elections in September.
The trial begins exactly one month after the city goes to the polls, on October 8.
Deputy mayor Domenic Testoni was one of seven councillors who agreed to stand by Cr Neville for the next two months.
"There are only four council meetings to go before the election and my point of view hasn't changed on any of this," Cr Testoni said.
"Mike has made a decision to stay on as mayor and he will make the decision, like all of us, whether to stand at the next election.
"That's up to him and I will continue to support him on that."
Fellow councillors Anne Napoli and Doug Curran took their support even further, saying Cr Neville was the best man to lead the city.
"Mike has done a fantastic job as mayor and has worked very, very hard for the community," Cr Napoli said.
"This is his call and I will support him on every decision he makes.
"He was elected by the community and he is doing his role as mayor."
Councillors Bill Lancaster, Christine Stead and Pat Cox have also supported Cr Neville since he was arrested more than two years ago.
But Crs Dino Zappacosta and Allan Bennett have been vocal about their disappointment he didn't step aside from the beginning.
"It is never too late for the mayor to stand down if he has any sort of concern for the community," Cr Zappacosta said.
"If he is respectful of the position of mayor as a position beyond reproach and one that sets a moral level, then he should step down immediately."
Cr Bennett called on Cr Neville to resign for the sake of Griffith's reputation and the community.
But he didn't expect a response from the mayor.
"At this point of time, he has dug his heels in for over two years and he's not about to budge," Cr Bennett said.
In a poll on The Area News' website, 72 per cent of the 95 respondents believed Cr Neville should step down as mayor.