Coffs councillors sitting, waiting and wondering

WHERE are our councillors?

As of the close of business yesterday there was still a question mark over the names of the eight new Coffs Harbour City councillors who will join Mayor Keith Rhoades in the council chambers on October 16.

While Mark Graham, John Arkan, Kerry Hines, Jennifer Bonfield and Bill Palmer are expected to join the mayor in the chamber, three positions are still in question.

Although the names of the successful candidates were expected to be posted on the website before midnight last night, the delay means the poll will not be declared until Wednesday.

The '12 days of local government' has left candidates more inclined to sing the blues than cheery carols, with candidate Denise Knight saying yesterday she was 'p... off'.

"Everyone is asking me and no one is telling me anything," she said.

Mrs Knight said she had only a very slim chance of being elected, but had not expected the process to be so strung out.

"It drives you nuts – you can't plan anything or move on with your life," she said.

"I think it is ludicrous with today's technology."

Today's technology may be to blame, with Coffs Harbour returning officer Paul Wittman saying he had expected to hear news yesterday and wondered if a last-minute computer glitch had held up preference distribution at the Sydney computer centre where counting is under way.

Candidate David Quinn said the wait had been 'heaps longer than I expected'.

He said he had expected a result last week, based on what he said was advice from electoral officials.

Mr Wittman said the preference count was extremely complicated and the timing was on track with what he had expected. The first meeting for the new Coffs Harbour City Council will be held at 5pm on October 16.

It is costing us $332,000 to extract the names of the people who will represent us for the next four years – an average of $36,977 per councillor.

Want to know more?
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