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Nominations Close! 

The TCDC website does mot make it clear whether the list as at 4.30 is 'final' or interim, but I assume that is it and we can analyse the candidates.

Sandra Goudie  and Peter French will go head to head for the Mayoralty. Despite all Peter's hard work over the last six years, he simply lacks the charisma, and carries the burden of 'Leach-Lite.' I don't give him a chance against experienced campaigner Sandra - I suspect him to be 'blown out of the water' before it is all over.

Thames Council has six nominations for three seats. The oldies (in every sense) are Strat Peters, and Sally Christie who fancies her chances on both Council and the Waikato Health Board. That may come back to bite her, but I suspect that she has enough female support in particular to come through. Campaigning may test her.

Realistically, Strat, despite all his obvious failings, has strong support in the town as 'Mr Nice Guy.' He seldom offends anyone, but cannot make his mind up about anything, and is probably the worst Chair I have ever seen in action. Unless there is an reaction based on his longevity he will probably slide back in easily.

Rex Simpson is a wild card for Council - he undoubtedly has residual support from the days when he held 'local celebrity' status as breakfast announcer on Coro FM, but he has been a real disappointment on the Board - mostly mute. I think he will be challenged to 'step-up,' but I would not count him out.

Craig Cassidy also has an attendance problem associated with his current employment, but when on the ball, has provided really good input into Board affairs. He is totally unfazed by the poisonous atmosphere created by Leach, and the ridiculous regime of Strat and has held his ground well on several issues. Will need to clearly articulate his objectives for standing for Council, but I give him a real chance at beating one of the 'Dream Team' at least. He has youth on his side which this Council badly needs.

Of the remaining new candidates, Murray Wakelin is a retired Elim Church pastor (from West Auckland) with long local associations, now running Te Puru Lodge. Has served on several school boards, including Thames High School. Claims to be able to bring honesty and integrity to the position, and I don't doubt it. May be a long shot - certainly worth listening to.

Wayne Willescroft is the local Sky technician, and my inability to contact him by phone for background may be due to the Olympic rush - I have tried on twelve occasions - enough I say! Said to be a 'good guy,' so we need more information.

It is not a very inspiring lineup I am afraid - I considered throwing my hat back in the ring, but in the end the thought of having to give up the blog was just too hard, and someone would sure as hell have used my undeniable age to question my fitness for the ruckus. I pulled out when I heard of the three 'non-team' members coming forward.

They do need some young fresh ideas in there under Sandra's steadying hand. I do know that there has been some rapid re-arranging of positions over the last few days, and that is certainly welcome - perhaps word of the reaction to the 'Dream-Team' finally got through to a few influential people. Temporary loyalties will be tested.

I will analyse the Board applicants in due course - if I can get hold of them!


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