New deputy mayor

FIRST-TERM councillor Isaac Smith was last night voted in as Lismore's new deputy mayor, replacing Green's councillor Vanessa Ekins who did not stand for re-election.

After the 7-to-4 vote against Cr Neil Marks, 35-year-old Cr Smith described his win as 'fantastic'.

The father of four young children, who lives in East Lismore, has won broad praise for his diligence and insightful comments during his first year on the council.

“Being born and bred in Lismore will help in my new role, but the main thing I bring to the job is a passion for Lismore,” he said.

“I want Lismore to reclaim and strengthen its identity as the place to be in the region in terms of education, health, culture and the arts.”

Part of this is encouraging more residential and business development, he said, particularly in North Lismore and the Wyrallah plateau.

Outgoing deputy mayor Cr Ekins, who will remain on the council, said she decided not to recontest the position that comes up annually because she believed it should be shared around.

“It's a very interesting position and offers professional development,” she said.

Cr Smith, who ran on the same County Labor ticket as mayor Jenny Dowell, said his main job since last September's election was a councillor, and works part-time for disability and aged information service DAISI.

Before being elected, Cr Smith lectured at the media department at Southern Cross University for eight years, leaving in early 2008 to start his own media business.

In his election campaign he nominated CBD development, community assets (parks and sporting facilities), and local roads as priorities.

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