5 new faces join council

FIVE new councillors will take their seats in the chamber following the Kempsey Shire local government elections.

Returning officer Alan Wilcox formally declared the results of the ballot at the election office in Kempsey yesterday.

Newcomers Anthony Patterson, Lou Kesby, Ashley Williams, Bruce Morris and Sue McGinn are the successful candidates to make the grade as councillors for the first time.

Mayor-elect Liz Campbell is joined by councillors Betty Green, Jim Gribbin and Dean Saul in retaining their seats for the next four years.

Jenny Sproule, Alan Snowsill and John Bowell have lost their seats.

Mr Wilcox rubberstamped the result of the mayoral election, which - after the redistribution of preferences - came down to a contest between Cr Campbell and Cr Betty Green.

The former won comfortably, with 5756 votes to Cr Green’s 3043.

Glass firm owner Anthony Patterson was the first to reach the quota of 1630 votes.

Candidates were eliminated one by one from the lowest upwards until the remaining councillors secured the quota.

The remainder of Dean Saul’s group were excluded one by one and their votes redistributed according to preferences.

Another newcomer, restaurateur Lou Kesby, was next to cross the line, after John Bowell was eliminated. 

The former councillor had gone from the most popular first preference candidate in 2008, to having the lowest number this time.

Cr Green was third in the race and the first candidate to retain her seat as ordinary councillor.

The remainder were elected in the following order: Ashley Williams, Bruce Morris, Dean Saul, Sue McGinn and Jim Gribbin.

Jenny Sproule was the last to be eliminated, missing out by almost 300 votes to Cr Gribbin.

Mr Wilcox congratulated the successful candidates, wrapping up his election duties.

He praised the manner in which the election had been conducted and said he had received only a handful of complaints.

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