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Sunday
Sep082019

Thames Community Board

The Board comprises four members PLUS the three councillors - seven all-up!

These seven elect a chairperson who automatically (at this stage) joins tthe Council as a 'non-voting' member,. This position carries a salary of approximately $16,000 as opposed to the roughly $8,000 paid to the other Board members. Councillors receive roughly $34,000, plus allowances for chairs of both committees (Audit & Risk; and Infrastructure) of approximately $4,000. These will all be re-set following a determination by the Higher Salaries Commission following the Election.

The Community Board has five nominations for the four available positions, so that voters really only get to decide who to leave out. I find it very hard to distinguish between the candidates who all appear to have a similar level of qualification

Here are the nominees in list order

Michael Brewerton -  An architect who lives on the Coast who talks about 'lifestyle,' and his "level of communication, nationally and  internationally." which is apparently good, but he provides no indication in his 160 words of any understanding of the issues facing our Council, let alone mention his attitude towards 'climate-change' essential in my view,

He is only 50 years of age, which is a real plus in my view, and he appears well disposed towards business in general  which is good. It seems to me that he may become bored with the prolix proceedings of our community board, but he does not appear to have done a great deal of research that may have revealed that to him.

Strat Peters - Clearly, Strat stands out as the 'experienmced' one - he is almost 'part of the furniture,' and vacillated between standing for the Board and Council over many months. Strat has vast support in the town as affable and avuncular who can 'do no wrong.;' My concern is that he will automatically expect to be returned, and then appointed chairperson by dint of his experience. He has published a good 'flyer' that outlines all the outstanding projects with which he has been involved, except that not many have reached fruition, and some carry huge question-marks.

I don't think there is any doubt about where Strat stands on 'climate-change,' but his support for the 'Declaration,' along with Sally and Rex appeared 'half-hearted' at best. I would claim to be a 'good mate' of Strat's, and I totally support his election to the Board, but I think the new Board need to think very carefully about how they want to be represented at the next Council table by their non-voting chair.

Sheryl Fitzpatrick - Has lived and worked assiduously over a huge range of social sector activities here in Thames for some 30 years. She is well respected and well liked in the community, and is very capable of 'holding her own' on issues involved with this sector. Her wide circle of contacts would stand her in good stead as a Board member.

I cannot determine Sheryl's competence in the financial and governance areas, but this is not quite so important at Board level as at Council as it operates within a confined budget. I am sure that Sheryl would be a strong advocate on 'climate-change' issues which readers will have correctly surmised I place as a top priority for all elected members.

Peter Revell  Peter's main 'claim to fame' appears to lie in the area of music promotion at the Kauaeranga Hall, following retirement as an executive in the IT industry, but once again, his Statement appears to emphasize 'well-worn' clichés at the expense of telling us what he knows about the problems facing our Council, including 'climate-change.' I hate to sound repetitious, but this must surely be the principal concern facing all our incoming elected members, and they should be able to show some interest in the area.

I have no idea as top Peter's age, but he looks like another candidate for the older age- group of whom we already appear to have a surplus.

Cherie Staples - Cherie is the Office Manger for Scott Simpson, who 'carries the can' for the undistinguished environment and 'climate-change' portfolio for National. But that is not Cherie's responsibility. She 'talks the  talk' in her Statement, and emphasises her "hard-working, younger eyes," which is good, and she advocates for "balanced representation, loaded with purposeful, focused inspiration" which is certainly desirable.

Cherie, along with all candides will have to adapt to the slow-moving and ponderous, but nevertheless  co-operative style of most local government agencies. 

I offer no choice as to who deserves to 'go-down' in this election. It is a toss-up, to be honest!

 

 

 

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