Independent Jane Smith defeated Labor’s Doug Vincent to take the Mayoral seat at the first meeting of Central Coast Council on Monday, October 25.
Mayor Smith, was elected to the East ward and stood as one of the New Independents.
The second New Independent Councillor Louise Greenaway did not vote for her colleague.
Cr Greenaway was one of four councillors who nominated for mayor but, when it came time to vote, she voted for the Labor Party’s Doug Vincent.
The Liberals did not stand a candidate and voted for Jane Smith.
Cr Greenaway had voted earlier in the evening to keep the ballot secret but she was overruled by a majority of her colleagues.
Chris Holstein got a round of applause from the gallery when he said the council needed to start with an open vote.
About 60 people watched from the public gallery.
Cr Holstein voted for Mayor Smith after his nomination for mayor received only his own vote.
Cr Holstein became the deputy mayor with eight votes after Cr Vincent received 6 votes and Cr Greenaway one vote.
The council has six Labor Councillors, five independents and four Liberals.
After the meeting, Mayor Smith said she would not let divisions take over the council.
When asked about her lack of experience, Mayor Smith said she had been around council for 20 years, attending meetings and being on committees and working with staff.
Mayor Smith campaigned for a sustainable Central Coast.
“I lead a truly Independent team,’ she said before the election.
“I have been involved with community organisations for 20 years including as CEO of the Community Environment Network. I want planning for the future that ensures delivery of infrastructure, protects our quality of life and the places we love,” she said.
She said she stood for:
- Giving communities an effective voice
- Accountability and transparency in Council’s actions and decision making
- Better planning that retains the character of the Central Coast
- Working with local communities to identify priorities for improving local roads, drainage and footpaths
- Protecting open space and the places we love – urban reserves, the bushland, waterways and beaches.
- Creating new local jobs and new sustainable industries
- Protecting drinking water catchments and agricultural lands.