Karen Toms.
Karen Toms. Adam Hourigan

Richie in box seat

DESPITE attracting just enough votes to join Clarence Valley Council, Karen Toms will nominate for mayor at today's first meeting of the new council.

Cr Toms and incumbent mayor Richie Williamson are the only two councillors to flag they are standing for the top job.

Cr Toms said she had disagreed with Cr Williamson's leadership style.

"If I didn't stand and he was elected unopposed it would be an endorsement of his leadership," Cr Toms said.

She said she was "not delusional" about her chances of beating Cr Williamson for the mayoral robes.

"I've been critical of Richie and senior council staff," she said.

"Like a lot of people out there, it seems like senior staff and not the council are running the show."

Cr Williamson was confident his overwhelming popular vote in the council election would translate into votes in the council chamber this afternoon.

He already has the votes of Craig Howe and Sue Hughes, who were happy to pre-empt their vote yesterday.

The battle for deputy looks to be more interesting, with incumbent Cr Howe facing challenges from newcomers Jeremy Challacombe and Andrew Baker. Cr Challacombe said he was standing for deputy in a bid to ensure cohesion in council.

"Although I'm a new boy on the block I bring a lot of experience working in organisations like the Chamber of Commerce," he said.

Cr Baker said he was running for deputy as a stepping stone for a tilt at the top job in 12 months.



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