Gloucester’s Katheryn Smith has been elected deputy mayor of the new MidCoast Council.
“I’m really excited,” she said following the vote by her fellow councillors.
“There was no deals and no canvassing. People either supported me or not but I knew I was in with a chance.”
Katheryn was one of four councillors who nominated for the position. The others were Karen Hutchinson, Claire Pontin and Kathryn Bell.
The vote was conducted as a preferential ballot and the role is for one year.
Katheryn has been a councillor on the former Gloucester Shire Council since 2008 and was deputy mayor at the time of the merger with Greater Taree and Great Lakes.
“I was the youngest councillor ever elected on Gloucester Shire Council and nine years later I have grown and developed the necessary skills to contribute to the new council.”
She was also on the MidCoast Council local representative committee advising the then administrator John Turner.
Katheryn believes in a common sense approach and a fair go regardless of where in the region you reside.
Mayor David West was delighted to see her elected his deputy.
“Having someone so young and so vibrant is absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“To listen to Katheryn when she talks about issues; she picks on things that a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily consider. The first time I came to realise just how competent she is, we were talking about cemeteries and I listened to what she had to say and nobody seemed to want to respond to it and I thought, hang on a second, she’s right, and the conversation changed how we dealt with that issue.
“That really is what you have a committee for… a group of people who have individual ideas and… it’s usually the quietest person on the committee who has the best ideas because they’ve listened to the rhetoric of everybody else and usually they build the body of evidence to take you on and when that happens is when further debate occurs.”