NEWLY elected Eurobodalla Mayor Lindsay Brown can see challenges ahead with a diverse new council.
Just three former councillors have retained their seats in chamber with six new faces joining the fray.
Their positions were confirmed on Sunday, following a week of intense counting following the September 8 local government poll and a recount.
New councillors comprise four Eurobodalla Ratepayers Action group members - Peter Schwarz, Milton Leslight, Neil Burnside and Liz Innes - Greens representative Gabi Harding, and independent Danielle Brice.
Councillor Rob Pollock has retained his seat and former mayor Fergus Thomson will now be a councillor.
Mr Brown was declared mayor after a recount of the mayoral votes last weekend.
The first count saw a difference of 104 votes between Mr Brown and runner-up Ms Innes.
The ERA-funded recount secured another 10 votes for Ms Innes, but Mr Brown scored an extra 14 in his favour.
“One of the biggest challenges I face is securing a team environment,” he said yesterday.
“There are nine individuals and they have nine individual views.
“There will be strong debates, but that’s what democracy is all about.”
One of the first priorities on the new mayor’s list is to change the way council handles business.
“One of the things we need to acknowledge is the message the community sent us in that they want things done differently,” he said.
“Council makes the decisions… based on staff support.”
Putting the “local” back in the planning system at a State Government level and resolving leasing issues with surf lifesaving clubs in the shire are things he hopes to fix.
Another problem he acknowledged was the overwhelming representation for the shire’s south in the new council.
Only one councillor, Milton Leslight, is based in the Batemans Bay area.
“That’s just the way the vote went,” Cr Brown said. “There are five south of Tuross.
“One of the things I would like to see is this council and the councillors representing the council across the shire.”
The new council will hold an extraordinary meeting next Thursday and will need to start reviewing 200 policies, which they have a year to complete, Mr Brown said.
While the last week has been “a river ride” for Mr Brown, he said all the stars had aligned in his favour.
Not only was his name at the top of the mayoral ballot paper for the second election in a row, he said he had huge support during the election campaign.
He said creating a team was the legacy he wanted to leave behind as mayor.
“If in four years the Eurobodalla is a better place to live, then that’ll be me,” he said.