Central Otago’s mayoral campaign is a one-man-race – at this stage.
Mayor Tim Cadogan was the only councillor to confirm his intention to run for mayor in the upcoming elections when recently asked by The News
Mr Cadogan was quick to respond when asked if he planned seek re-election.
“Absolutely,” he said.
All other sitting councillors and community board members were also asked if they planned to run for election again and in what capacity.
No-one, other than Mr Cadogan, confirmed their intention to run for mayor, although some said they were undecided when approached.
Sitting councillors Martin McPherson, Neil Gillespie, Stuart Duncan and Shirley Calvert confirmed they would run for council again, but Barrie Wills, Lynley Claridge, Nigel McKinlay and Stephen Jeffery were undecided.
Victoria Bonham and Malcolm Topliss did not respond.
However, Mr Topliss confirmed late last year his intention to stand for a third term.
There was also a mixed response from the district’s four community boards’ current members.
Robin Dicey, Annabel Blaikie and Shirley Calvert plan to stand for the Cromwell Community Board, but Nigel McKinlay, Anna Harrison and Werner Murray were undecided.
Three Maniototo Community Board members – Stuart Duncan, Sue Evans and Robert Hazlett – plan to run again.
Duncan Helm has yet to decide and Sue Umbers did not respond.
No-one has confirmed their intention to run for the Teviot Valley Community Board.
Stephen Jeffery, Raymond Gunn and Cliff Parker were undecided, while Sally Feinerman has said she would not run in this year’s election.
John Pritchard did not respond.
Only two of the current Vincent Community Board members have so far confirmed their intention to put their names forward this year – Russell Garbutt and Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay.
Barrie Wills has yet to decide, while James Armstrong, Brian Fitzgerald and Claire Goudie have confirmed their intention not to put their names forward this year.
Malcolm Topliss and Victoria Bonham did not respond.
The only new candidate planning to run for council this year, to The News’ knowledge, is Central Otago police youth aid officer Constable Tamah Alley.
“With a fresh approach and proven leadership experience, I’m excited to be standing in the local body elections. It’s time for the next generation to step up,” she said.
As Mr Cadogan reflected on his past three years as mayor, he said he was proud to have led a council that had achieved so much over the last term.
Among the highlights was the installation of pipes, which marked “the beginning of the end” of Clyde being one of New Zealand’s largest towns still on septic tanks.
Getting water with less lime in it to Alexandra was also a highlight, along with the opening of the Cromwell wastewater upgrade and the Maniototo Hospital build.
“This has also been a phenomenally engaged council, with interaction with the public like never before, as shown by the number of submissions to the LTP (long term plan) and the Central Stories scoping study, as well as the huge community engagement with the Cromwell Masterplan Eye to the Future process.”
He said Roxburgh had also provided a “high point” during his term as mayor after witnessing the “incredible community resilience” following the big flood.
However, closure of the Roxburgh Children’s Village was “certainly the low point of the term and something that still hurts today”, he said.
There were challenges ahead in the next term, and the ongoing Manuherikia River minimum flow and allocation project was at the top of the list.
Mr Cadogan plans to run a “low-waste” campaign for the upcoming elections.
“Reflecting on last time around, I’ve come to the conclusion that billboards and pamphlet drops are wasteful and achieve little. This year I will be focusing on sustainable messaging, using predominantly online, radio and some newspaper, as well as continuing to be easily personally available to people in my campaign for re-election.”