The writing was on the wall by late last week that the Liberals had gained the support of Independent Councillor Rob Mills. The rumours were confirmed tonight when Cr Mills voted with the Liberals, returning Cr Lara Symkowiak as Mayor and fellow Liberal Cr Therese Fedeli as Deputy Mayor.
Cr Eva Campbell also put her hat into the ring for the mayor's position and had the support of the Labor Party candidates, Cr Ashleigh Cagney, Cr Cindy Cagney and Cr Paul Farrow, but the casting vote of Cr Mills gave it to the Liberals.
The fact that it was his vote was confirmed by the order of the votes - Rob Mills vote was placed in the box first, so it came out last. He also agreed he voted for Lara Symkowiak when the proposition was put to him during our interview.
However after the vote outcome was posted on Camden-Narellan Noticeboard, Rob Mills contacted me to tell me that he had voted for Eva and claimed that one of the Labor candidates must have switched their vote. This strikes me as extremely unlikely but I will be contacting the Labor councillors over the next few days to confirm how they voted.
(Update: Cr Paul Farrow replied to my questions about the vote. He said: "I can confirm that I voted for Eva, I even showed Eva my ballot paper before putting it in the ballot box. Labor also voted against having a secret ballot to elect the mayor and deputy as we wanted a show of hands for transparency. Labor Councillors Paul Farrow, Ashleigh Cagney, Cindy Cagney and Independent Eva Campbel were the only councillors who took our oaths and affirmation publicly and the only councillors to oppose conducting the vote via secret ballot.")
Immediately after the meeting I asked Rob Mills why he decided to vote for the Liberals.
According to Cr Mills he was following the advice of his "family, friends and all that". He said that he wanted to see everything to be positive, happiness and cheerfulness and then admonished me to keep the story positive.
In terms of voting with the Liberals he said it had to do with their positive approach and that they were looking to make things new while others were too tied up in, what he called, "old Camden". He was astonished that some people didn't want the car park in Camden and he didn't like the negative approach of those who supported Eva Campbell.
Having worked in Camden 30 years ago, Rob Mills said that while he supported heritage, Camden needed the street works and the car park. In a perfect world he would have preferred to see the whole of Argyle Street through the Centre of Camden turned into a pedestrian thoroughfare. In reality though, he knew this could not be the case.
He also believes that Camden has excellent infrastructure and will easily cope with the 245,000 new residents that will be coming to the region over the next decade.
Cr Mills believes that he is the best thing that has happened to the community because he knows right from wrong, left from right, up and down, in and out and that his experience as a small business owner who relies on good service and delivering a good product gave him insight into the residents of Camden.
When asked why people voted for him at the election Cr Mills said he had done some research and that, "People voted for me, not because I was an independent but because I was Rob Mills. And all they say to me is, you will keep the bastards honest."