Williamson a winner

COUNCILLOR Ian Tiley's bid for mayor was defeated five votes to four last night in a secret ballet at Clarence Valley Council, leaving Richie Williamson with the top job for a fourth term.

Before the ballot Cr Tiley called for the vote to be open but his motion to this effect, which was supported by Cr Karen Toms, was voted down.

Cr Williamson was nominated for mayor by Crs Margaret McKenna and Pat Comben while Cr Tiley was nominated by himself and Cr Karen Toms.

Shortly after the vote the two mayoral contenders shook hands.

There were three nominations for the role of deputy mayor so the ballot had to be conducted in two rounds.

Cr McKenna was nominated by Crs Williamson and Toms, Cr Simmons was nominated by himself and Cr Dinham, and incumbent deputy mayor Craig Howe was nominated by himself and Cr Williamson.

The first round voting saw four votes for Cr Howe, three votes for Cr McKenna and two votes for Cr Simmons. Cr Simmons was knocked out of the contest.

The second and final round of voting for the deputy mayor saw Cr Howe retain his position five votes to three with one informal vote.

Cr Williamson congratulated Cr Howe and all nominees for positions. "I want to assure everyone that we will continue to work as a team here," he said.

Cr Williamson first won the ballot for mayor against Cr Tiley in 2008, six votes to three. There was no challenge for mayor in 2009 and last year he defeated Cr Tiley five votes to three (Cr Toms was ill).

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