Sparks fly in deputy mayor election coup

Cr Sparks and Cr Toms

Cr Sparks and Cr Toms

As expected Steve Toms was voted in as mayor at Thursday night’s council meeting but in a stunning move to upset the status quo, Carol Sparks has been voted in as deputy mayor. 

Secret discussions were held amongst newly elected and sitting councillors after it was reported in the Examiner that Colin Price and Steve Toms would run a dual Mayor and Deputy ticket.

The decision was made for Sparks, a first time councillor, to run as deputy and to oust former mayor Colin Price from any position of influence on council, even though she felt that no single councillor should hold the deputy mayor position. 

Sparks said she answered the call from other councillors who felt that Price and Toms together would not be good for the Glen Innes Severn shire. 

“I got the feeling through talking to the other councillors that they weren't really that interested in my idea to share the deputy role around on a rotating basis with each other,” she said.

“So after a lot of phone calls from them expressing dissatisfaction with the council that it looked like it was going to become I decided after being asked, to nominate for the deputy mayor role.”

Mrs Sparks said she had also fielded calls from the public to break a possible Toms and Price political duopoly.

“I had heard a fair bit of unhappiness from members of the public about the two of them holding the top two positions on council, but it was the encouragement from other councillors that convinced me to run for the deputy position,” she said.

Former Mayor Colin Price was visibly angry after the decision but was dignified when asked by the Examiner for a response.

“I will refrain from making any comment tonight other than to congratulate Mr Toms and Mrs Sparks on their election,” he said.

Mayor Steve Toms paid tribute to Mr Price and said the decisions made by the council he led will be appreciated in the years to come.

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