Simmo, by 28 votes
By RENEE FORD
JIM SIMMONS is the Clarence Valley's newest councillor, defeating Danny Scott by a mere 28 votes in Saturday's by-election.
Mr Simmons polled 9970 votes after the distribution of preferences, ahead of Mr Scott on 9942.
The Maclean accountant said yesterday he was relieved, but still nervous about celebrating until the official declaration of the poll tomorrow.
"I'm definitely excited, I've got a funny feeling in my stomach and I don't have any nails left, but I am ready to get down to work," Mr Simmons said.
"I expected it to be very close ... I'm not sure if there will be a recount, but at the end of the day you have to have confidence in the folks down there conducting the polls, it's a lot easier for me to say that though."
Once taking office, Mr Simmons said his focus would be on better maintained roads, improved sewerage, youth and family needs and business and training development.
After the nail-biting distribution of preferences, conducted by returning officer Ray Endean yesterday, the results were couriered to each of the candidates.
"From this time they have 24 hours to consider the results and request a recount," Mr Endean said yesterday.
The Electoral Commissioner of NSW, Colin Barry, can also request a recount before the result is officially declared tomorrow.
Mr Scott, the general manager of Grafton's Black Toyota, said yesterday he was disappointed with the result, but glad he gave it a shot.
"We gave it our best," he said.
"Positive things have come out of this election for the Clarence Valley as a whole because we have focused on some issues that haven't had any attention."
Mr Scott said yesterday that he would not be requesting a recount because of the extensive personal cost involved.
"The official letter that I have states the cost of a recount is $27.50 per hundred ballot papers, that would cost me approximately $7,590.
"I have three small kids and I've just purchased a house, so no, absolutely not, I feel guilty about the money I have already spent on the campaign."