MAYOR PLANS: Loft ready to take the reins of Fraser Coast
RUNNING a council is a little like running a marriage - at least according to incoming mayor Chris Loft.
So it was fitting that on the day Cr Loft and his wife Tina celebrated 35 years of marriage, the division three councillor was announced the next mayor of the Fraser Coast.
"That's a marvellous coincidence on a day like today," he said.
What do you think about the news of the new mayor Chris Loft?
This poll ended on 05 April 2016.
I'm so happy, I believe Chris Loft will great for for the future of our region
I was hoping Gerard O'Connell would get in, so I am disappointed
I am pleased Chris Loft has been elected however I hope he fulfils his promises
I am unsure how I feel at this point after hearing the news
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Cr Loft said his secret was sticking together through thick and thin, something he hoped the new council would take on board.
"It's the same now we are on council, we are all in this together," he said.
NEW COUNCIL PLANS:
The former accountant took the date coincidence as a good omen for the future.
And he has more plans than just working together for the Fraser Coast.
"I want to be held accountable to the promises I made," he said.
Cr Loft is not shying away from any of his commitments and it is the region's finances at the foremost of his mind.
"There will be no wasteful spending," he said.
"The rates we will cap them at a maximum spending of CPI - I am hoping to get councillor support on that one."
Cr Loft is yet to be clear on how exactly he will save money.
He said among his first steps would be to conduct a financial audit of the entire council to determine where money could be saved.
This will happen as soon as he is sworn in.
Among his other first orders of business, Cr Loft will also be looking at the controversial sports precinct.
"Of course, there will be no sports precinct which the community was very outspoken on," he said.
"It was the major issue of this election I believe, that particular project."
While the sports precinct is not going ahead, there are other initiatives Cr Loft hopes to continue.
"Decentralisation of council - we need to put people back out in the regions," he said.
Cr Loft said he was positive about the next four years.
"I know that we live in a great region and I know that we can perform better than we have in the past," he said.
Cr Loft spent his first day as the officially declared next mayor at his Cheapside St, Maryborough office fielding calls of congratulations.
While he has been officially announced to be placed in the position, it may be a few weeks before he takes the reigns.
Cr Loft and other councillors must wait until all divisions in the race have been declared before they are sworn in.
With both division two and six sitting on a knife's edge, it could be sometime before that happens.
It is also still a mystery what the final margin was between Cr Loft and incumbent Gerard O'Connell.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland officially announced Cr Loft as winner on Monday morning despite counting and the distribution of preferences continuing.
An ECQ spokesman said the preference count would be made public once counting was finalised.
"We have declared the result, meaning the outcome is now certain but we have not finished counting all the votes yet," he said.
The ECQ website shows first preference votes, with Cr Loft in the lead on 19,640 votes compared to 18,254 votes for Cr O'Connell.
The news of Cr Loft's victory had a mixed reaction from the Chronicle's Facebook readers.
"Congrats Chris, maybe now the Fraser Coast can move forward and become the place that we all deserve," Julieanne Rasmussen said.
John Cawthra was hopeful for the future under the region's new leadership.
"Hopefully things in Maryborough will come good now instead of the Bay getting everything," he said.
Wendii Easton was disappointed and feared the region would be missing out on proposed developments.
"Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought this guy was the one against water park and sport precinct etc these are the things Fraser Coast needs," she said.