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What do the candidates in the 2010 Central Otago District Council election stand for? The Otago Daily Times has given all nominees the opportunity to answer two questions.
1: Voters are concerned about the level of council spending. How will you keep rates down while retaining essential services?
2: What are your goals and what should the priorities be for your council?
1. I would audit all council staff positions to identify the areas of staff increase, as numbers have grown from 50 to 100 in 20 years. Growth must be affordable.
If central government is placing a burden on us we need to lobby them, but essential services are vital. All extra services are up for review.
2. The economy is not in good shape. We need to deal with that issue as it will not go away.
My goal is to ensure Central Otago is an affordable area to live and work in. We need to future-proof our great location. Also, council needs to become more approachable for its residents.
We are the customer; communication is the key. As mayor, my job will be working full-time for you.
Occupation: Company manager
1. We must find a way of costing different levels of service and asking our ratepayers if they are prepared to accept these in exchange for less spending and smaller rate increases.
If ratepayers really want us to spend less, then they have to tell the council what they are prepared to give up. Our job is to communicate effectively with our ratepayers and offer them real and clear choices.
2. My goal is to continue the work of so many others who have made Central Otago such a wonderful place to live in. As mayor, it is my job to lead the community discussion on the best way to achieve this.
At times, this will involve hard decisions and the need to stand up to those people who threaten what is important to our region. This is called leadership, and that is my key priority.
1. Our ability to continue paying for the services ratepayers want is the biggest challenge we face.
The CODC has embarked on two business-excellence projects focusing on cost containment.
The first will build competency in asset management; the second will explore ways to get us off the depreciation treadmill (or at least slow it down). National experts in both areas are advising us. If we can't make progress in those areas, we're not sustainable.
2. The CODC has made significant improvements in business processes over the past three years, and we now lead the country in some key areas. Recent workshops have taken that work to the next level, with greatly increased clarity about our values and purpose.
One of my goals is to lead the organisation over the next few years as we give effect to the intentions that flow from that substantial body of work.
No elections are required for council seats.