Bridgend CBC leader Jeff Jones declared his intentions while warning that the Assembly 'would be no place for timeservers and retired councillors'.
Mr Jones is reported to have been called before his Ogmore constituency Labour Party this week to explain why he had campaigned for a 'yes' vote and been critical of Ogmore MP Sir Ray Powell's stance against a Welsh Assembly.
Mr Jones denied he would be turning his back on local government.
'Getting in at the beginning of the Assembly is a chance to actually shape politics. I think it is a unique chance to create a brand new culture. Any politician would want to be involved in that.'
Shaun Stringer, leader of Vale of Glamorgan and its predecessor authority since the age of 26, is convinced of the importance of the Assembly and of bringing local expertise to bear on it.
'I can only see good coming from the relationship between an Assembly and local government,' he said.
It would inevitably have a greater understanding of local government's needs and local community needs.