Eden remains without a local candidate, our nearest being located at Lochiel and Greigs Flat.
The important top spot of the preferential ballot went to independent Ann Mawhinney of Tantawangalo with Ivan McKay of Millingandi drawing number 16.
Ten of the 16 are new candidates including former councillor Bill Taylor who was a councillor from 2002 to 2008 and deputy mayor for 2002 to 2004; and former general manager David Jesson (1993 and 2007) who was appointed administrator for Shellharbour Council during 2008 to 2011.
Other new candidates include independents Mary Dawson (Bega), Roy Day (Bega), Judy Geary (Bega), Ann Mawhinney (Tantawangalo), Kristy McBain (Tura Beach), Ivan McKay (Millingandi), Greens Jamie Shaw (Mogareeka), Bill Taylor (Buckajo) and Sharon Tapscott (Lochiel).
Current councillors vying for re-election are Tony Allen, Mike Britten (Merimbula), Pat Campbell (Tathra), Russell Fitzpatrick (Griegs Flat), Keith Hughes (Doctor George Mountain) and Liz Seckold (Tathra).
Retiring councillor Graeme Wykes of Merimbula said ‘winning’ the top spot on the ballot paper was a boon but didn‘t guarantee election.
“Everybody likes to be on the top because they’ll have their own supporters plus they’ll get the donkey voters who just number one at the top and count to the bottom,” he said.
“It’s very, very important who gets your number one vote, because it’s a preferential voting system, you only need a certain per cent plus one and you’re in.”
Mr Wykes urged voters to gain an understanding of the candidates through local media and support people from their areas.
“I recommend voting for the person who represents your area,” he said.
“I got a lot of primary votes from Eden because people knew me and my family, personal profiles are very important.”
Mr Wykes retires from council along with David Hede (Merimbula) and Paul Pincini (Pambula).
He thanked his colleagues for their fairness and diplomacy, saying no-one “pushed their own barrow”.
“I loved the experience it was a great thing to do,” he said.
“It’s a different world of protocols, procedures and laws to follow.
“The big reward for me was the performance of whole nine councillors, they had balanced views and everybody was fair minded, there was no petty politics and we could always discuss issues and treat them fairly.”
Election day is Saturday September 8. The mayoral election will be held at council’s first sitting.