MARION Short came up trumps this week when she was elected chairperson of Hawick Community Council.
In a bizarre move the vote on Tuesday night was tied between Mrs Short and fellow nominee David Nuttall at five apiece – with a proxy vote accepted from the absent Andy Maybury and a spoiled ballot paper.
Under the guidance of Councillor George Turnbull, the matter was decided by a pack of cards, with Mrs Short selecting the higher card to secure the role of chair.
The 60-year-old, who is originally from Eyemouth but came to Hawick in 1975, joined the community council last year.
She told the Hawick News: “I felt that while Hawick may not be my home town, I’ve lived here since 1975 and I wanted to give something back to the community.”
Mrs Short spent 41 years working in local government before a two-and-a-half year stint at the children’s reporter’s office in Selkirk.
Married to Gordon, a warehouse manager at Lyle & Scott, the couple recently celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. She has two step-daughters and three grandchildren.
And she was quick to pay tribute to previous incumbent John Hope, who stood down as chairman at the last meeting.
She said: “I hope things will move on as smoothly as possible.
“I have to say a huge thank you to previous chairman John Hope. He put in a lot of hard work and took on a lot of work. He was the one who helped get this body back up and running and he deserves an enormous amount of credit for everything he has done.”
One of the first tasks Mrs Short has set herself is to increase the numbers on the community council.
The group was already two members down before the resignation of Mr Hope and was hit by a further resignation this week in the shape of Jim Matthews, who moved to Spain for health reasons yesterday.
“We would love more people to become involved,” said Mrs Short. “I didn’t realise how much these people put in on a voluntary basis. It’s exemplary. Every one of them turns up for meetings, they do fund-raising and all sorts of other great work.
“We want to keep this going but we need more bodies. We need to get more people on board.”