The Kiama Greens are disappointed with the result of last weekend's council poll, despite increasing their vote to 23 per cent, up from 22 per cent in 2008.
It means the Greens will maintain their two councillor presence on the nine-member Kiama council.
But with the absence of long-serving mayor Sandra McCarthy from this year's ballot paper, lead candidate Andrew Sloan thought the Greens would have collected more.
"The issue for all of us was with Sandra McCarthy retiring; there was 36 per cent of the vote to be distributed around," Mr Sloan said.
"I'm sure we picked up some of Sandra's votes, but Brian Petschler picked up more.
"I was surprised we just held steady ... I really thought we would lift our percentage from last time.
"We worked very hard on the campaign, but the outgoing Greens councillors also worked hard over four years and earned the trust and respect of the community."
Greens State MP and local government spokesman David Shoebridge said support for the party had "softened" across the state when voters went to the polls last Saturday. Mr Sloan believed the statewide trend was reflected in Kiama despite the 1 per cent rise in support.
"Some people didn't want to take a how-to-vote card from us, and when I asked them why it was almost always to do with a federal matter or other issues that had no real relevance as to how Kathy Rice and I will work for Kiama," he said.
Also raising the ire of rival candidates were two unauthorised flyers, described by one candidate as "green-flavoured".
"All I can say is there were two flyers that went around Gerringong, both put out by community members who aren't members of the Greens, without any consultation with me," Mr Sloan said.
"But I can understand why the community in Gerringong is passionate about issues regarding urban sprawl.
"They did see other councillors caving in to state government demands to rezone rural land. The Greens were the hardest fighters against that and that fight is probably not over."
Mr Sloan said despite being elected on a party ticket, he and fellow Green councillor Kathy Rice were "completely independent".
"There are only a few things where we would draw the line on a strong policy position, such as a urban sprawl around Gerringong.
"On all other matters we'll take it how it comes."
The Greens votes will be crucial when it comes to deciding Kiama's next mayor at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday night.
Brian Petschler was the early favourite to take the role, but after preferences saw the No 3 on his ticket, Bob Behl, miss out on a spot on council, the vote is less certain.
Veteran councillor Warren Steel has thrown his support behind Cr Petschler.
Cr Neil Reilly has declared his intention to contest the mayoral role.
"My case for mayor will be a new view for council; we can have an experienced deputy mayor, but it is time for fresh blood at a senior level," Cr Reilly said.