No candidates have yet declared for the Cromwell Community Board by-election, despite it being the subject of much debate on social media, the modern-day equivalent of workplace water coolers.
Nominations close a week today at 4pm.
An extraordinary vacancy exists on the board after Sarah Browne stood for both the community board and the Central Otago District Council in local elections. She was elected to council, thus forfeiting her community board seat.
Board chairwoman Anna Harrison said she had spoken to a couple of people who had indicated interest in the seat, but none of those had yet confirmed.
‘‘For our people already on the board and on the council, we are hoping there will be suitable candidates to choose from. We have so much exciting stuff happening in Cromwell this term and would love to have someone who will help us with that.’’
Mrs Browne previously told The News she looked forward to Cromwell having a second chance to let the community choose between some great candidates for what promised to be a full and significant term.
‘‘I was disappointed in the October election to see candidates elected unopposed and I sincerely hope that this by-election and the conversations it has started have given the community an opportunity to learn more about Cromwell and what the CCB do, and how it is relevant to us all,’’ Mrs Browne said.
One name raised on social media channels as a potential candidate is that of David George, who is a regular correspondent on many Cromwell-focused pages.
Mr George has himself raised the possibility of running for the board.
Asked this week if he would stand, he said he was still considering doing so, but that decision would depend on whether anybody else ran.
‘‘I think they need someone with a bit of local knowledge who understands Cromwell,’’ he said.
If more than one candidate stands, voting would be required to fill the post.
In that eventuality, papers would be mailed to electors on January 26 and voting would close at noon on February 17.