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'STOP PRESS' - Sandra Will Stand!

Word came through this afternoon after Council posted a presser about the latest candidates that Sandra Goudie has thrown her hat in the ring against Peter French.

That is a relief - I was not looking forward to reporting another three years of Leach-Lite activity within the Council Chamber.

Sandra will give Peter a god run for his money - he may have captured Whitiange through his alliance with McLean and Fox who look unassailable in that Ward, and who have been busy promoting French at every opportunity. The word is that National has decided to support French, but I suspect that a great number of previous supporters will fall in behind Sandra - she commands substantial loyalty around the District.

It is almost certain that she will command support in the Coromandel Ward, and probably Whangamata where the perennial harrumph - Jan Bartley has again put his name forward for Council. He will undoubtedly fall in behind French, but I suspect that now retired Jack Wells will ensure good support for Sandra in that Ward.

Thames looks like it will be split - probably in favour of Sandra even allowing for the strong sports bar following for Peter. Most people recognise that he has simply been a 'yes-man' providing back-up for Leach over the past six years, and that Leach will likely continue to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of Council were Peter to be elected.

Sandra's problem will be to get support around the table for the measures she sees as necessary to get Council back on to an even keel, but she has the political nous and ability to understand the power of the position. No-one will get a committee chair I suspect who does not pledge a level of support in the incoming Council - always a great lever for a mayor, not the least here where Leach used the tool diligently, and to great advantage.

If Sandra is elected, expect the unelected Economic Development Committee to be history along with Brent Page's position at the Council table - nothing short of an outrage, and quite possibly a breach of the LGA. Sandra's body language has made that clear - no explanation required.

I expect a great deal of the policies instituted by Leach over the past three years in particular to come under review - particularly those related to grants and extraneous non-core related activities. Expect also a far tighter reign on executive decision making, and financial controls generally - especially in the area of tendering.

On the other hand anticipate a far more approachable administration with an end to bullying and bluster. That will be a welcome relief for all of us who have had to deal with this group of people over the past six years. I just hope that she gets support at the table, even from the French inspired 'ticket' that has emerged over the last few weeks about which, more later.

You will gather from this that my money is on Sandra - good luck to her, and all who sail with her!







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Reader Comments (1)

Love it, love it-- yet another woman leader, Merkle, May, Clinton, long shot Clark and now our very own Sandra!!!!!!!!!!
Sandra, I surmise, will cream the Dream Team.
This area is not ready for a package deal. We don't need group politics in our District. McLean, Peters, Fox and French and any others purporting to be on the team can take a running jump as far as I am concerned.
Every person elected to Council should be there to provide a unbiased opinion, thrash out the Districts concerns [in the public arena], then and only then, vote as they see fit---- what some people call democracy.
Councillors are not elected [or shouldn't be] on 'tickets-Dream Teams' but as individuals, with the Mayor elected at large to act as the faciltator and encourage the elected members to come up with a consensus of opinion. Councillors do not represent their 'patch' but the District at large.
If you are worried about your patch--then the community board is the place to be.
So to that end--go Sandra!!

August 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPolitico

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