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Tuesday
Sep132016

Community Board

I have avoided making much reference to the Community Board (Thames) until now - concentrating on the more important Mayoral and Council positions.

The candidates appear to be a varied lot, and in the main quite well known. The only one standing again is Lester Yates whose previous performance was wholly undistinguished - he along with Rex Simpson seemed to sit mute most of the trime while all the action went on around them. I don't rate Lester, who is somewhat ponderous, but then again I have nothing against him - he is a nice enough guy with what appears to be a rather chequered business career, even if well known around the town.

Next up of the old hands is ex-councillor Diane Connors about whom I have nothing but praise in spite of her futile and crazy anti-fluoride campaign. That aside, she performed creditably on the Council, often tipping up Leach, but unable to stop the bullying, and at times appeared intimidated - I don't blame her. She worked assiduously for the community, and was always very conscious of the non-core costs. She fought hard for the new skate park, considering it a vital youth facility, and she was right, even if it appears to be coming in over budget. I am very very supportive of Diane, and think she would make an excellent Chair for the new Board.

Clancy Nixon is an enigma - a long time backer of the Waikawau Boat Ramp Society, and a little one eyed in regard to Ngati Tamatera prerogatives, but he has matured considerably in that regard, and had substantial recent business success that has enabled him to retire and offer his skills in this role. He has attended numerous Council and Board meetings in order to acquaint himself with processes and the current issues - the only one of all the candidates to make this effort. I strongly support Clancy for this reason.

I notice from Mike Veal's flyer that he seeks "a fair and balanced focus on all towns in the District" and that  "Thames does not deserve to be treted as 'second rate'." All very well, but he needs to be able to counter the old argument about the source of rate income based on land values. It is all bollocks of course, but aspiring members need to equip themselves with the arguments needed to defend their corner. He is apparently the branch manager for J A Russell Electrical Wholesale (3 years and now with Shaun Richards Electrical I am told!), and is a 'true blue' local, so should be worthy of consideration.

Catherine Croft on the other hand appears a young (28) and vibrant addition to the list, who claims to be able to represent the younger voter, and that is certainly a major attribute against others on this list. She is an active volunteer in the town and works in youth programs for CAPS Hauraki. She says all the right things about developing local facilities, but needs to recognise that the oldies need a fair shake too after all the planned expenditure on indoor courts and skate parks has taken place. I get the impression that Council core business does not rate highly in her estimation, but three years on the  Board may cure that. Worth a shot at it in order to assess her capability for future more important roles.

Overall, my rankings for the four slots would be in this order - Diane Connors, Clancy Nixon, Catherine Croft and Mike Veal. Sorry Lester - you did well to escape the claws of the "Team," but you have simply not done enough to warrant re-election, and should step aside to give others a shot in my view.

 

 

 

 

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