Jane Smith elected as first Mayor for the Central Coast Council

Jane Smith - Mayor of the Central Coast CouncilJane Smith - Mayor of the Central Coast Council

Councillor Jane Smith has been elected in an open ballot as the first Mayor to represent the combined Central Coast Council.

Four Councillors nominated for the office including Clr Smith, Clr Doug Vincent for Labor, Clr Chris Holstein, and Clr Louise Greenaway was a late nomination from the floor.

In the fi rst round of voting, Clr Greenaway was excluded. Clrs Smith and Vincent received seven votes each and Clr Holstein received his own single vote. In the second round Clr Holstein was excluded. In the third round, Clr Smith was elected Mayor on the basis of votes from Clrs Best, McLachlan and Holstein along with the four Liberal Councillors. After a short break, Clr Smith took the chair and restarted the meeting with an acknowledgement of country. Councillors then moved to elect a deputy mayor in the same fashion as they elected the mayor, by a show of hands. Clr MacGregor moved an amendment that the deputy’s position would be for one year only, an amendment supported by Clr Vincent.

Clr Best argued that continuity was paramount and the amendment was lost on the basis of the Mayor’s vote. Two nominations were received for deputy, Clr Doug Vincent and Clr Chris Holstein. A third nomination for Clr Louise Greenaway was received from the floor.

Clr Chris Holstein was declared Deputy Mayor Clr Smith and Clr Holstein will hold office for two out of the three years before the next local government election The election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor was held at an Extraordinary Meeting of Central Coast Council on Monday, September 25. The fi rst item of business at the Extraordinary Meeting was to determine the method to be used to elect the Mayor. A report written by Mr James Taylor, Section Manager Governance, recommended that the Council determined to elect the Mayor at the Extraordinary Meeting. The report also recommended that if more than one candidate was nominated for election as Mayor, the method of voting should be by “ordinary ballot”.

Mr Ian Reynold’s role as Administrator of the Central Coast Council offi cially concluded immediately before the fi rst meeting of the new Council. Mr Reynolds had no function, administrative or otherwise, at the Extraordinary Meeting. Two or more Councillors were required to nominate a Councillor to the position of Mayor, one of whom could be the nominee. The nominee had to consent in writing to the Acting CEO, Mr Brian Bell, in his role as Returning Officer. Councillors had three voting methods to choose from, as per the Local Government Act and Regulations. They could choose a preferential secret ballot, an ordinary secret ballot or open voting by show of hands. In an ordinary ballot, each Councillor is required to simply place an “X” against the candidate of their choice. In a preferential ballot, each Councillor places a 1,2,3 etc against each candidate. In the event of a tie, the chair may use their casting vote.

Source: Meeting notes Jackie Pearson, Journalist