MARK Way brought his lawyer to the declaration of the Kiama council poll yesterday.
He needn't have bothered.
After the distribution of preferences, "the only true independent" as he described himself, was elected to the council in seventh place.
The only ungrouped candidate was ready to take legal action over the high number of informal votes that he said had been meant for him but were declared invalid because of the "below the line" rule.
As soon as his name was read out, Mr Way dropped his threat of court action and instead said he would work within the council to change the voting system in time for the next Kiama election.
"I'm happy for my part to be elected, but also for the people in the community who backed me," Mr Way said.
"I think there was a lack of advertising about how the system worked ... the system should be simplified next time."
Kiama's new council, in order of election, is Brian Petschler, Andrew Sloan (Greens), Warren Steel, Dennis Seage, Mark Honey, Kathy Rice (Greens), Mark Way, Neil Reilly and Gavin McClure.
The unlucky candidate yesterday was the Petschler/Honey ticket's third candidate Bob Behl.
The Petschler/Honey team recorded 28.9 per cent of the first preference vote - almost four times as many as Cr Reilly's Community Voice ticket - and were hoping to have three candidates elected, but ended up with just two.
"I'm disappointed Bob Behl didn't get on but that is the way the cookie crumbles," Cr Petschler said.
"He would have been a very good councillor."
"This council is what the community elected; it is quite a broad group of people and I hope we can work together collectively like the past council has done."
Veteran councillor Warren Steel described the new council as "an interesting mix" and said it would take nine to 12 months for the six new councillors to grasp what was going on.
"I know when I got on I was going to change the world [but] you all of a sudden realise you just can't do that," Cr Steel said.
"Even when you do get ideas through it is 18 months because it can be included in the budget."
The Kiama Greens' lead candidate Andrew Sloan paid tribute to the outgoing Greens councillors in helping them collect 23.1 per cent of first preferences.
Kiama businessman Gavin McClure of The Right Direction ticket said he was delighted to be elected.
"I thought we may have got in higher than number nine, but it is great to be elected," Mr McClure said.
"It is a broad council and the community should be happy with the result."
Dennis Seage said he was happy with the mix, but sad his running mate Erica Warren wasn't elected.
"I was surprised Neil got in but happy for him to be elected," Mr Seage said.
"He is a level-headed man and has a lot of experience ... that will be helpful for the new kids on the block."