Sajowitz ‘amazed’ by overwhelming election support

BACK: Kathy Sajowitz and Kerry Gibbons, pictured at Oberon High School on Saturday, have been returned to Oberon Council.

BACK: Kathy Sajowitz and Kerry Gibbons, pictured at Oberon High School on Saturday, have been returned to Oberon Council.

KATHY Sajowitz says she intends to nominate again for the position of Oberon mayor after receiving an overwhelming endorsement from the electors at Saturday’s local government election.

Ms Sajowitz had 654 votes as of Wednesday morning, or 22 per cent of the formal votes at the Oberon Council election, according to figures from the NSW Electoral Commission.

But she will be part of a changed council that will feature a number of new faces chosen by electors, including Andrew McKibbin, who focused on Oberon Council’s financial position and rate rises during his campaign. 

Based on the figures from Wednesday morning, incumbent deputy mayor Kerry Gibbons (343 votes) will be returned to council, as will long-time councillor Clive McCarthy (254), with a progressive quota of 298 votes required to secure a seat.

New faces Mick McKechnie and Mark Kellam look secure with 383 and 267 votes respectively, while Mr McKibbin (302) polled the fourth-highest number of votes.

Mr McKibbin’s fellow Ticket A candidate Jacque Wilson had 48 votes as of Wednesday morning.

Mr McKechnie said he was very pleased with the polling and said getting the second-highest number of first preference votes was a great result.

VOTE ONE: Councillor hopefuls campaigning outside Oberon High School on Saturday. The new Oberon Council looks likely to be a mix of new and familiar faces.

VOTE ONE: Councillor hopefuls campaigning outside Oberon High School on Saturday. The new Oberon Council looks likely to be a mix of new and familiar faces.

"Competition for votes was always going to be difficult with the high number of candidates and I would like to thank those who supported me not only with votes but also with encouragement and help leading up to the election," he said.

"Congratulations to the other elected candidates. The hard work has only just begun; we now have to repay the faith the people have shown in us."

The remaining three positions on council look likely to be taken from four candidates, Ian Doney (114), Ian Tucker (100), Don Capel (94) and Neil Francis (93), though this will depend on postal votes and preferences.

The remaining results were Sam Lord (66), Brenda Lyon (66), Karl Safranek (23), Gregory Bourne (71), Janet Baljeu (23), Bob Mills (39) and Owen Rogers (33).

Ms Sajowitz said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from electors.

"With the progressive quota now at 298, that leaves me 350-odd votes for preferences,” she said. “All these figures could change dramatically.

"I would like to thank the Oberon community for their ongoing support and faith in me as an elected representative. 

“I have been informed that the 654 votes I have achieved at this point in time [Wednesday morning] is the highest ever recorded primary vote in Oberon. 

"I am amazed and grateful for this support.

"At this time [Wednesday], counting is still in progress. With the ‘over the line’ quota currently sitting at 298, it is good to know my – your - excess votes will be distributed as preferences and will ultimately count. 

"I sincerely congratulate all candidates for putting up their hand with the aim of contributing to the community. To those that are successful, well done, and to those that are not, I urge you to continue your interest in local government and think about 2020. 

"Meanwhile, there are committees you can be part of as community members. Your contribution is important."  

Ms Sajowitz said with the level of endorsement she has received she intends to nominate for the mayoral position for the next two years.

"I feel confident I can lead and work productively with what looks like it will be a blend of old and new councillors. Team-work is vital to a successful council producing successful outcomes.

"I look forward to building upon the projects that have been important to not only council, but the wider community, such as advocating for a youth services officer to connect with our young people, an economic development and tourism officer to drive development and tourism projects which will benefit all. 

"I look forward to continuing to be part of the working group I set up with other ‘like’ councils and Local Government NSW to work toward and lobby for a more equitable outcome for communities with large proportions of unrateable land. 

"Most of all, if successful in my nomination as mayor I will continue to drive stability, sound financial management and efficiency within the organisation, involvement in regional projects and decision making by ensuring Oberon is represented at every available table.

"With the turbulence now behind us, it’s time to roll up our sleeves, work collaboratively and ensure Oberon continues to thrive and remains Fit for the Future."

The first council meeting will be next Thursday, September 21 when a mayor and deputy will be voted in.

Councillors will then be asked to volunteer as representatives on the various external organisations and section 355 council committees.

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