WDC: Mayoral candidates

What do the candidates in the 2010 Waitaki 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?

Ralph Burrell (52)

1. I would make sure council has suitably skilled people to make decisions without having to pay exorbitant prices for consultants for every little decision.

I would also use efficient contractors and hold them accountable - do it once, do it right.

I would employ council workers to do jobs that contractors currently make a good return from, such as cleaning public toilets, thus creating new full-time jobs and saving money.

2. My main goals if elected are to ensure that repairs and maintenance are done properly to avoid costly reworks; make sure that outlying areas are involved and kept current with council activities; actively promote Oamaru as a destination for new business and offer assistance with set up; help the farming community with farm development; provide opportunities for young people to gain skills and experiences within the local businesses and organisations.

Bruce Cawley
Did not respond

Alex Familton (68)

1. Council with my leadership has reduced rate increases to 2.65%, in line with inflation. We are also meeting deadlines for consents.

We are financially prudent. Continuation of user pays and prudently financed projects with the assistance of external funding, eg $2.75 million for the cycle track, will ensure sustainability.

Negotiations with central government will bring savings, eg Ministry of Health (neurosurgery), coastal (erosion), internal affairs (funding), local authority (TAFM amendments).

We must attend further to roading.

2. Tasks to complete: industrial area, attracting enterprise, use of our top-quality water, Alps to Ocean cycle track (Ahuriri), landscape and roading (Waihemo), harbour (Oamaru) and making fair rules for irrigation, farming/business, heritage projects and other activity.

My established priorities are waste, water and roading. Heather and I will continue to strongly support the many volunteer organisations, which are our district's heart and soul and the basis of our friendly, self-reliant, productive community.

Gary Kircher (46)
Economic development adviser and businessman

1. I want to see the council giving better value for rates. To achieve better value long-term, I want us to share services with other councils.

We can centralise some management roles and combine tenders for major purchases. This approach could be used for activities such as roading, mowing, IT systems, equipment purchases etc.

The quality of work being done is important. Contractors must get it right first time or put it right at their expense.

2. My goals include progressing development of the Oamaru Industrial Park urgently, and getting the Alps to Ocean cycle trail under way to bring a huge boost to our district's tourism.

I also want to see the relationship between council and community improve, so it is seen as an enabler rather than a handbrake, and to achieve better value for rates.

Council priorities include these, as well as a fairer rates system and increasing the responsibilities of community boards.


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