Shellharbour's Labor Mayor Marianne Saliba has denied any deal was done with her Liberal deputy Paul Rankin to ensure the pair kept their respective roles.
Cr Saliba said she had even filled out a nomination form for deputy mayor should the mayoral vote not have gone her way - and cleaned out the mayoral car in case she had to hand it over.
Cr Saliba said despite only receiving the support of her two Labor councillors in the mayoral vote she still had a mandate to lead the council.
"It is quite clear I got three votes and the other candidates got two votes each. I got the highest vote therefore I am mayor," she said.
Cr Saliba said that before entering the council chambers on Tuesday night she had expected the mayoral vote to be "a two-horse race" between herself and Cr Rankin.
"Councillor Marsh didn't declare her interest until the meeting, Councillor Rankin had," she said.
"I can't say what is going on there with the Liberal Party, I can only say Councillor Rankin was a very good deputy mayor last year and I look forward to working closely with him again.
"I definitely did not do a deal with anybody. I don't deal."
Cr Saliba said she had received calls from business leaders, community leaders and individuals wishing her luck.
"I feel very honoured to have had the role for the last 12 months.
"Over the next 12 months we will continue to concentrate on The Waterfront development at Shell Cove and progressing the retail section, and we will continue with planning for the City Hub."