By-election a chance to ‘try before you buy’

Nominations are being called for the Cromwell Community Board by-election following the shock resignation of sitting member Robin Dicey last week.

Nominations to fill Mr Dicey’s vacant seat opened yesterday.

At the time of his resignation, Mr Dicey said his decision related to "notable epic fails" on the part of the board and the Central Otago District Council.

Among the "fails" were moves for a new memorial hall, which had dragged on for two decades, a development on Cemetery Rd that took far too long and where the developer subsequently delivered "a pup", a lacklustre redevelopment around Cromwell’s fruit sculpture, not striking a deal to buy the Cromwell Speedway, and failure by the board to address issues surrounding Aurora Energy’s ageing network and pricing, he said.

The by-election to elect one member to the board is required to fill the seven member-board, four of whom are elected from the ward and three appointed from the council.

With the next local body election to be held in October 2022, the new board member will be committing to just over a year in the role.

CODC chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said it was an opportunity to "try before you buy".

"If you’ve always wondered what it might be like to represent your community at this level then this opportunity will give you a chance to see what it is really like before the next election.

"We hope to attract a range of candidates that give voters in the Cromwell ward a high quality pool of applicants to choose from that way they get the best outcome for the $26,000 cost of the by-election."

Community Board members worked hard across a broad range of issues on behalf of their communities and she urged any interested candidates to get in touch if they wanted to have a confidential chat about the role.

Nominations close at noon on Thursday, May 27.

The election will be conducted by postal voting under the first-past-the-post electoral system.

Voting papers will be mailed out to electors on July 1 and voting will close at noon on Friday, July 23.

The estimated external cost for the by-election is $25,745.


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