Gulaptis the better mayor: Mathews
By EMMA CORNFORD
CHRIS Gulaptis was a 'better mayor' of Maclean Council than Ian Tiley and should lead the newly-elected Clarence Valley Council, according to councillor-elect Joy Mathews.
Mrs Mathews made the comments yesterday as Mr Tiley and Mr Gulaptis shored up support as the first Clarence Valley Council meeting and vote for mayor draws closer.
"I think Chris (Gulaptis) has a good chance because I can't see why people would support him (Tiley)," Mrs Mathews said.
Mr Gulaptis is the only councillor-elect to have publicly declared his intention to run for the the top position, but Mr Tiley has indicated he may also run.
Councillor elect Kerry Lloyd said Mr Tiley called him on Wednesday to ask for his support in the mayoral race, but he will be backing Mr Gulaptis.
"I have indicated my support to Chris and unless something dramatic happens that will be the case," Mr Lloyd said.
The other four councillorselect remained undecided on who they would support, while former Grafton mayor Shirley Adams could not be contacted yesterday to confirm if she would run for the position.
GULAPTIS:"I've had people phone me up and offer their support and that, along with the endorsement at the polls, has given me the confidence."
FLANAGAN:"I'll lend my support to the person I believe has the capacity to achieve in the valley and to...deal with gov- ernments."
WILLIAMSON:"I'm not backing anybody at this stage (but) as long as they...have the ratepayers' interests at heart be- cause that's what we're here for."
MATHEWS:"I've told Chris (Gulaptis) I will support him and he knows that. I think he knows the political process and is a good ambassador."
LLOYD:"I have indicated my support to Chris (Gulaptis). I think he has the runs on the board (and) Maclean really moved forward under Chris."
MACKENZIE:"I want to listen to what the candidates have to say and determine who would be best for the position from that. We're lucky because we have so much talent and so many former mayors."
MORGAN:"I'm going in at this stage with an open mind. I'm sure people want the Valley to move forward in unity and that's the real issue. There's no place in local government for party pol- itics."
TILEY:"I'm still networking with the other councillors. There's lots of people talking to other people at the moment."