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Election Nominations 

The full list for TCDC is out and may be accessed here. 

It is interesting reading from a number of standpoints.

The alternative Mayor - Ben Parsons is just that - alternative, and hardly a serious contender. It will be interesting to see how Glenn handles it - Ben is probably regarded as a confounded nuisance, necessitating a whole heap of additional work that may otherwise have been avoided, but that is democracy for you, and Glenn will just have to front.

It was stated on good authority prior to the close of nominations that the Greens would put up a candidate, but I cannot believe that this is it. He claims to be a "utopian anarchist" according to his Facebook entry, and states his political views as "Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Social Democracy" so at that rate he will certainly attract a few votes at least - Glenn had better watch out!

The only competition on the Eastern side is at Whangamata where the Bartley/Wells duopoly is challenged by Helen McCabe, and I would give her a fighting chance - she came close at the last election, and I cannot believe that Jan in particular is any longer regarded as a viable candidate by the good burgers of Whangamata. The pompous pronouncements of Jan in particular must surely be grating by now. I hope that Helen gives him a run for his money - it is time that there was a female representative from the East on the Council.

The Thames Council looks like a good old stoush between Sandra Goudie and myself at first glance, but Barry Scott may be a dark horse. I have heard that he is a retired engineer who has worked around the Islands, but appears a little naive about Council affairs - that is someone elses summary, not mine. I will leave aside any prognostications on the outcome of this one other than that Sandra will be a formidable opponent.

The Whitianga Community Board are a completely new slate - it seems that the incumbents decided that they were not prepared to accept Glenn Leach's unbridled criticism for the Sports-complex debacle. Allison Henry is said to have led the walk-out and has not been backward in coming forward with where she thinks blame should lie. The fact that the two unchallenged councillors - McLean and Fox came through unscathed will not have helped feelings on the matter. 

The fact that there are nine candidates for the four positions in Coromandel probably reflects the deep-set community feelings in regard to the Four Square siting in the town - it appears to have created an almost equal division that is unlikely to be resolved in the near-term. The result will probably provide a fair reflection of the actual support for each side of the issue. 

Both Tairua-Pauanui and Whangamata apear to indicate fairly strong support for incumbents, and Bob Renton and Keith Johnston will likely re-emerge as Chairs.

Thames is a little different. Gavin Struthers has emerged from left field through he has been around the town for a long time - he is an ex-vet, and, and I am told reflects rather conservative views. Strat Peters and Lester Yates are the two sitting members who will probably be returned, together with Rex Simpson who made quite a good showing in 2010. All three represent support for the Thames Urban Development Strategy which will be a bone of contention before this election is over. The intent seems to be to paint everyone else as negative while they represent the 'progressive' element, but this may backfire if aimed at Adrian Catran in particular who while voicing concerns, has been generally supportive of change through his promotion of the Grahamstown Business Association.

Craig Cassidy has in the past represented a single-issue - freedom-camping and all its associated evils. He will need to campaign on a wider range than this. Barry Scott is apparently opposed to the Strategy, or at least aspects of it. In summary, it appears to me that Adrian will have the support to come through well up the list just on experience alone.

The next issue will revolve around the Chair in Thames. The Mayor has stated categorically that he will not appoint, as allowed under the new legislation, but rather leave it to each board to elect its own chair - a very wise move. If that is the case, then Strat can expect to be challenged on his chairing skills alone - he has tested the patience of everyone on that score. But he appears to have the support of Peter French who may be undertaking a 'king-maker' role in endeavouring to arrange support for Strat even before the campaign has begun - I would not have thought that to be a wise move, but Peter will no doubt have thought it through. It will surely be a secret ballot (only one request for such is required), and that could lead to a different result than expected.    

A mixed bag, but enough is going on out there to provide some interest on 12 October. 




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