Mark Troy wins battle for Bellingen leadership
MARK Troy has been re-elected as the mayor of Bellingen.
What had earlier appeared to be a close three-way tussle between Cr Troy, former mayor Gordon Braithwaite and former councillor Jillian Cranny on Saturday, increasingly favoured Cr Troy as vote counting continued.
Yesterday, after the distribution of Jillian Cranny's preferences, Cr Troy could be seen to have pulled well clear, with 3722 votes, defeating Cr Braithwaite on 2779.
Jillian Cranny had received 2141 primary votes, compared to Cr Braithwaite's 2518 and Cr Troy's 2683
“I expected this to be a hard one,” Cr Troy said.
He said he did not see the early numbers as a backlash against his policies, but thought the final count showed an endorsement of council management over the last four years and an acknowledgement that the council had been willing to tackle serious issues.
“I hope people recognise my inclusive leadership style. It is (now) a matter of getting on with the job.
Cr Troy said what had been under-estimated by practically everyone was Jillian Cranny's very substantial vote.
“In relation to our decision to see change and change within the organisation, we have been singing the same song,” he said.
Cr Troy said he had been a great advocate for resource sharing between councils and he hoped the new council would continue that approach. He said financial sustainability was a huge challenge for large and small local governments and a 'sleeper' for a council like Bellingen would be the recommendations to come out of the state government's water utilities review.