Mayor positive about the future
Current Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes is getting a head-start on her campaign for re-election and is now getting about in a special sign written car.
Offficial nominations don’t open until July 15, with elections in October.
But Barnes is wasting no time letting people know she wants the top job again.
And while she hasn’t heard of anyone else standing for mayor, she was ‘‘being realistic that there may be someone’’.
At the last election there were three other mayoral candidates.
Barnes said she didn’t stand last term on being Matamata’s first female mayoral candidate, but she was very proud of her success so far.
‘‘I didn’t stand as a female; I stood as a human but I feel very honoured because it meant to a lot to women, particularly rural women,’’ she said. ‘‘I am proud to have represented the men and women of my community.’’
Barnes was electioneering in her bid to get a second term as mayor and projects that would be going ahead at that time include the construction of a Matamata Civic Centre, involving the memorial centre, library and council area office.
She said every entity involved in the Matamata Memorial Centre were having to compromise to keep within the $6 million budget.
That was why there was no plan for a stage or seating, which some groups were petitioning to be included.
She said some groups would prefer a movable stage rather than an in-built one.
Barnes said those aspects could be fundraised for in stage two.
She was acting as a ‘‘conduit’’ for a potential indoor sport stadium in Matamata by working with benefactor Bruce Magan, Matamata Swifts, Matamata Futures, the local college and Sport Waikato.
They have had two meetings and were now looking at four sites in the area to see if they would meet the needs of multiple sports clubs.
Barnes said it had taken her a little while to get used to copping criticism for such projects as the Broadway road trial and the roadworks on that same road.
‘‘I do take it hard when the council is criticised because I am the leader of that and the buck stops with me.’’
Mayor Jan Barnes is out electioneering for her next mayoral bid.