THE composition of the new Lithgow Council for the next four years finally became known on Saturday night, a week after the election.
Sitting councillor Joe McGinnes became the last candidate elected after a lengthy distribution of preferences.
The State Electoral Commission announced the completion of the count shortly after seven o’clock Saturday night — seven days and one hour after the polls closed.
The final result means all five sitting councillors who sought re-election have been returned to office, all but one of them with a significantly reduced vote from the 2008 election.
The only candidate not to suffer a voter backlash was Cr Col Hunter, of Mt Lambie, who headed the Independents With Integrity group.
In a noteworthy turn of events the four vacant positions on council will all be filled by members of the one team, the Lithgow and District Community Forum.
The forum was established only this year to campaign for new faces on council and achieved just that on their first attempt.
The forum nominated two groups of five candidates and the two group leaders comfortably topped the vote count.
Frank Inzitari had the top primary vote, just ahead of the other team leader Maree Statham.
They will be joined on the new council by their fellow team members Ross Higlett and Peter Pilbeam.
The others elected were all members of the previous council; Martin Ticehurst, Wayne McAndrew, Col Hunter, Ray Thompson and Joe McGinnes.
The four vacancies which existed at election resulted from the retirement of three councillors, including long serving mayor Neville Castle, and the untimely death of Cr Wayne Marshall.
The first five positions were decided at the first count.
Frank Inzitari, Maree Statham, Martin Ticehurst, Wayne McAndrew and Col Hunter were all secure going into the next rounds.
Another councillor was not decided until after count 32.
That is when Ross Higlett then Ray Thompson met the quota of 1201 progressive total votes.
The final two positions became a contest between seven candidates.
In the order in which they were excluded Sue Graves, Jeff Dean, Steve Jackson, Cassandra Coleman and Cassie Harvison all made way for the final pair of Peter Pilbeam and Joe McGinnes to be elected.
Neither met the quota but Mr Pilbeam came close with 1157.
Mr McGinnes had a progressive total of 782 which was greater than the total votes of all other candidates remaining in the count with a smaller progressive total and any untransferred surpluses.
The proportional representation system used in the Lithgow council election meant a tough result for ungrouped candidates Steve Jackson and Jeff Dean who had first preference votes of 239 and 173 respectively.
This is taking into consideration that the last two positions on council were filled by candidates who didn’t even get higher than 24 individual first preference votes.
Frank Inzitari and Maree Statham were elected comfortably, taking the top two spots
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