Mayor breaks down bar­ri­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

It’s 7.30am and Cen­tral Otago mayor Tim Cado­gan has started work.

He is sit­ting at the Tin Goose in Cromwell talk­ing to a mem­ber of the pub­lic who wanted to meet him and ‘‘say hi’’. An­other cou­ple has sat down at a ta­ble and is wait­ing their turn to say hello, and have a chat.

Cado­gan in­tro­duced the ‘‘coffee and chat’’ ses­sions around the re­gions dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign for the may­oralty as a way to try and bridge the gap be­tween the coun­cil and com­mu­nity. He promised dur­ing the cam­paign he would con­tinue the coffee morn­ings if he was elected and he has kept his word.

‘‘Why wouldn’t you do it? Firstly, I find out things I need to know and can try to help. Sometimes I can’t help but it is still good to know what is go­ing on in the re­gion. The other thing is it is break­ing that dis­con­nect down that I felt was there...go have a yarn with the mayor, they feel good, I feel good, ev­ery­one wins.

‘‘They are ab­so­lutely bril­liant... the first lady here just wanted to say, ‘hi, how are you?’ and have a gen­eral chat. An­other cou­ple had some is­sues they wanted to dis­cuss. It is great. I love it.’’

Is­sues raised had been broad, from rub­bish to wan­der­ing dogs, he said.

‘‘It is just in­ter­est­ing what goes on and what peo­ple want. There has al­ways been the abil­ity to ring the coun­cil or the ser­vice desk but this is just an­other way of do­ing it. Sometimes peo­ple come to me with ideas.’’

An­other scheme in­tro­duced since Cado­gan took over the may­oralty was ‘‘coun­cil­lor con­nec­tion’’ where mem­bers of the pub­lic could ’’bend our ear’’ for 10 min­utes be­fore the coun­cil meet­ing, he said.

‘‘You can come to coun­cil with an idea or a prob­lem - what­ever the rea­son is for com­ing - you are talk­ing to all the mem­bers in one go. It is re­ally im­por­tant we lis­ten to the com­mu­nity...we are all one. We are just rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the com­mu­nity and make things hap­pen.’’

Af­ter al­most two months in the job, Cado­gan said he ‘‘loved’’ the job and was not miss­ing the court­room.

‘‘This is an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege this job. The hours are re­ally, re­ally long... I’m prob­a­bly av­er­ag­ing 65 hours a week but that’s OK. It is a wee bit tir­ing but the other thing you are do­ing is you are be­ing with peo­ple and that is what I re­ally love.’’

Roger Auburn, of Cromwell, meets Mayor Tim Cado­gan, at the Tin Goose for a ‘‘coffee and chat’’.

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