Local election: Northern Beaches Council will have a few new faces
AT least three incumbents will not be returned as Northern Beaches councillors, while two others are yet to meet the quota on being re-elected as counting continues.
Saturday's election saw 74 candidates vying for 15 seats on council, and new candidates are already raking in big votes.
The Your Northern Beaches Independent Team (YNB), led by mayor Michael Regan, looks set to secure five seats on the 15-member council, with the Liberals certain to secure five of their own.
While they haven't met the quota yet the Greens, Independents and Good for Manly look likely to nab a seat each.
The final two seats are still too close to call. The three councillors who look unlikely to be returned are Roslyn Harrison (YNB), Ian White (Liberals) and Alex McTaggart (Independent).
There are five wards in the northern beaches - Curl Curl, Frenchs Forest, Manly, Narrabeen and Pittwater - with three councillors elected for each ward.
In the Manly ward, Liberals Georgia Ryburn - who was victim of a nasty smear campaign ahead of the election - looks likely to get her first term as a councillor. Ms Ryburn said the community have spoken clearly with their vote. "I'm so humbled and so excited, I just think it's a fantastic endorsement from the community," she said.
Deputy mayor Candy Bingham, who heads Good for Manly, and sitting councillor Sarah Grattan (YNB) are likely to get the other seats.
Cr Bingham said after a challenging first term on council, she is looking forward to working with council's "magnificent staff" to assist the community into the future.
"I think it'll be a lot easier than the first term," she said. "Dealing with an amalgamated council was very difficult for the first three years and then we had COVID."
In the Frenchs Forest Ward, Cr Regan and Cr Stuart Sprott (LIB) look certain to get a seat. The final seat is too close to call.
Cr Regan said it was great news that YNB candidates were endorsed by voters, and there was a stronger vote for YNB in Manly and Pittwater compared to the previous election.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the new councillors and getting everyone together for a busy term ahead," he said.
Cr Regan has previously confirmed that he will run for mayor when the position is voted on during council's first meeting on December 29.
Cr Rory Amon (LIB) and new candidate Michael Gencher (YNB) look certain to get a seat each in the Pittwater ward. Greens candidate Miranda Korzy is likely to get the final seat.
Mr Gencher said he felt honoured so many people had voted for him and YNB. "I'm very much looking forward to getting started," he said.
The father of five and business owner said he'd received his first call from a community member the day after the election, it was a Church Point resident who had a sink hole in her garden.
In the Narrabeen ward, first-time candidates Bianca Crvelin (LIB) and Ruth Robins (YNB) look certain to get a seat. At this stage long-serving Independent councillor Vincent De Luca leads for the final seat.
In the Curl Curl ward, YNB Cr Sue Heins and Cr David Walton (LIB) look set to get a seat. The final seat is too close to call.
Cr Heins admitted she felt shell-shocked as voting continues. "I'm happy, I'm excited, I can't wait to get going," she said.
Postal votes will be accepted until December 17, with the final result to be known just before Christmas.
Election day wrap
Due to COVID, 'how to vote' flyers were not allowed to be issued at polling booths, and Cr Bingham said this not only caused huge confusion on the day, but around 10 per cent of all votes, so far, being informal.
An informal vote is where a ballot paper was left blank or wrongly marked that is excluded from the count. It does not contribute to the election of a candidate.
WHO BECOMES MAYOR?
The election on December 4 was for the 15 councillors who will serve on Northern Beaches Council. A vote on who becomes mayor will be made by the councillors at their first meeting on December 29.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DIDN'T VOTE?
If you did not vote, and you were eligible to do so, the NSW Electoral Commission will send you an 'apparent failure to vote notice' in the post. The penalty for not voting in NSW is a $55 fine. If you voted, you can provide details of where and when visit www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Voters/I-didn-t-vote.
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