IT was an extremely close count but almost 100 hours after the polls closed Denise Knight has been declared the new Mayor of Coffs Harbour.
It was only after the distribution of preference votes from former mayor Keith Rhoades that Cr Knight was able to secure victory over Liberal candidate John Arkan in the hotly contested mayoral race.
It was always going to be a close call considering only 103 votes seperated the top three candidates after all primary votes were counted with the new mayor holding a slender lead.
Prior to the final set of preference votes being distributed, Cr Arkan led Cr Knight by 657 votes but a lot of people who voted for Cr Rhoades put a '2' in the box next to the new mayor's name to see her get over the line by a final margin of 992 votes.
The ballot papers for the councillor positions are currently being processed three times each by a computer in newcastle to ensure 100% accuracy.
It is expected the eight councillors the new mayor will lead will be announced by Friday.
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