Tiley?s numbers up

By ADRIAN MILLER amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

CLARENCE Valley Councillor Chris Gulaptis' aspirations to become mayor took a nose-dive yesterday after one of his key supporters announced she would vote for incumbent mayor Ian Tiley at today's council meeting in Grafton.

Councillor Joy Mathews, who voted for Cr Gulaptis in the March mayoral vote, said based on his performance over the past six months she would support Cr Tiley.

"I think it would be unjust to criticise Ian Tiley's performance because I think he's performed extremely well under tough circumstances," Cr Mathews said.

Cr Tiley defeated Cr Gulaptis by a single vote in the inaugural mayoral vote, and is expected to keep, if not increase, that margin in today's vote.

The winner of today's vote will have the job for 12 months, with the next vote not due until September 2006.

Cr Gulaptis said he would be disappointed if Cr Mathews did not vote for him, but was still confident of claiming victory.

s an important decision and you don't take it lightly when you enter as a candidate for the mayor and I'm optimistic and reasonably confident," he said.

But while Cr Gulaptis remains hopeful, other councillors don't see any need for change.

Councillor Doug Mackenzie, who voted for mayor Tiley at the first vote, said he was pleased with the mayor's first six months.

"I've been happy with the mayor's performance and I've been very happy with all the councillors' performance and the way council is working," he said.

Councillor Fred Morgan, another Tiley supporter, said he would vote for the mayor once again.

"I think the council is working exceptionally well and I would like to see it continue on that path and I think Ian Tiley deserves another term to assist the council to consolidate," he said.

Councillor Kerry Lloyd, who supported Cr Gulaptis in March, said he was unsure who he would select this time around.

"I normally have my mind made up weeks before, but on this occasion I don't think it's entirely clear," he said.

"My understanding from what I learnt on Friday is that the incumbent will be returned and I don't have a problem with that," he said.

Councillor Terry Flanagan said he was happy with the way both the mayor and deputy mayor Shirley Adams had performed.

"It would have been good if they had a year to start with, but the legislation precluded that," he said.

"I think after a year and a half it'll be a lot easier to form a judgement on the capabilities and performance of the mayor and deputy mayor," he said.

Cr Tiley and councillor Richie Williamson could not be contacted for comment.

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