Deputy eyes mayor’s seat

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

Mata­mata Pi­ako District deputy mayor Jan Barnes is to stand for elec­tion as mayor in Oc­to­ber.

Her an­nounce­ment comes a week af­ter long-term Mayor Hugh Ver­coe an­nounced he was step­ping down to con­test one of two seats on the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil.

Mrs Barnes said un­til Mr Ver­coe’s an­nounce­ment she had not given any thought to stand­ing for mayor.

‘‘I was happy to con­tinue to sup­port Hugh and to stand again for coun­cil,’’ she said.

‘‘How­ever, since Hugh’s de­ci­sion to re­tire af­ter 15 years was made pub­lic I have been ap­proached by res­i­dents through­out the district ask­ing me to con­sider stand­ing.

‘‘I have been over­whelmed by the ap­proaches and tele­phone calls, and as a re­sult I have de­cided to stand for mayor.

‘‘With three years as deputy mayor I un­der­stand what the role of mayor en­tails and I have the skills to lead the district into the fu­ture.’’

Mrs Barnes is about to com­plete nine years on coun­cil.

Apart from be­ing deputy to Mr Ver­coe, she has pre­vi­ously been chair­woman of the coun­cil’s cor­po­rate and op­er­a­tions com­mit­tee.

Her lo­cal government ex­pe­ri­ence ex­tends to 12 years, hav­ing pre­vi­ously chaired the Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board.

Mrs Barnes has rep­re­sented Mata­mata Pi­ako District Coun­cil on the Waikato re­gional pas­sen­ger trans­port and civil de­fence com­mit­tees.

A mem­ber of the Mata­mata pub­lic re­la­tions com­mit­tee, Mrs Barnes is a trustee of the Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Health Shut­tle and an el­der of the St An­drew’s Pres­by­te­rian Church.

She is work­ing with po­lice on a fam­ily in­ter­ven­tion team for the district, based out of Mor­rinsville.

Out­side her coun­cil in­ter­ests, Mrs Barnes is a di­rec­tor of Rex Barnes En­gi­neer­ing, which has op­er­ated suc­cess­fully for the past 35 years.

Mrs Barnes trained as a health pro­fes­sional in the school dental ser­vice work­ing for schools around the Mata­mata Pi­ako District.

Jan Barnes

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