Mayor told to do business locally

Bryan Cadogan
Bryan Cadogan
Balclutha business leaders last night told new Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan that keeping jobs and services local was important for the district.

About 30 people heard Mr Cadogan talk about his vision for the district at last night's "state of the region-vision address" at the Balclutha Town and Country Club, organised by the Otago Chamber of Commerce.

After speaking on why he came back to politics, and some of the highs and lows since being elected - he was bursting with pride at being elected, had discovered to his horror a suit he had taken away for a meeting no longer fitted, and spoke of some speech "disasters" - Mr Cadogan took questions from the floor.

A "keeping it local" theme emerged, with people asking if the council purchased its products from local suppliers, and why middle and upper management positions were given to people from outside the district.

Kaylene Holland said people who lived in the district had more of an interest in what happened there.

When jobs were given to people from outside the area, there was a significant amount of salary leaving, she said.

There was some discussion on the floor about adding a "must reside in Clutha" clause to future business contracts.

Mayoral contender Barry Keith asked Mr Cadogan if the district's rates were going to be tied to the rate of inflation.

The mayor said he had no desire to "put the brakes on", but balancing ratepayers' expectations against what the Clutha District Council could deliver with a shrinking fund available from the Government was the challenge the council was facing.

"I'd be happy to spend the same as last year, plus one or two percent."

While it was his hope, and he would be pushing for rates to be tied to the district's ability to pay, his was only one of 15 votes, and whether he had the backing of the councillors remained to be seen, he said.

- rachel.taylor@odt.co.nz

 

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